Milking Mermaids


Here are some important things to know about mermaids.

1. On May 26, Animal Planet aired “Mermaids: The New Evidence.” It was very popular. Viewership: 3.6 million, a record for the cable channel.

2. On the show, shifty-eyed, mussy-haired “former biologist for NOAA Dr. Paul Robertson” comments on images of alleged mermaid-like things. What appears to be a battered mermaid doll on a beach: “probably fake.” Video of a humanoid-faced creature slamming a webbed hand on a submarine, allegedly made by a Danish geologist: “You’ve got it!”

3. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration response to “Mermaids”: “No one from NOAA was involved in making the fictional show and the person identified as a NOAA scientist was an actor.”

4.  Also from NOAA in 2012: “No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.”

5. Reactions on social media: The government is lying, the show is true!

6. In 1842, P.T. Barnum displayed a monkey torso sewn onto a fish tail. He called it a “mermaid.” It was very popular, too.

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.



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