Why a U.S. gov't agency was just forced to deny existence of mermaids

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012, 3:27 PM EST

From Peter Pan to classic mythology, mermaids have been in the public consciousness for years. But until this point, the U.S. government has never actually commented on their potential (or not) existence. So why did the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just put out a statement trying to burst our mer-bubble?

Turns out all it took was a speculative segment on Animal Planet dubbed Mermaids: The Body Found, which featured everything from cave drawings to weird sonar readings to pontificate on the existence of mermaids. The network has since clarified that the segment was meant as "science fiction," but not before conspiracy theorists started asking the NOAA why it's kept it all under wraps.

So, the federal government's response:

"Are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That's a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists."

It's kind of funny to see the NOAA chiming in on the debate, but if anything, you'd have to think this release will only fan the flames for mermaid conspiracy.

I mean, if there's nothing to it, what's with the knee-jerk reaction? Hmm ...

(Via Slate)