If you’re heading to the ocean for vacation, you might be on the lookout for more than the usual sea creatures. And, we're not talking about the typical summer shark scare.
Mermaids made a recent splash – no pun intended – this week when the Discovery Channel aired its documentary, Mermaids: The Body Found, which originally was shown May 27.
Currently, the search term “mermaid body found” is No. 1 on Google Trends with over 100,000 searches, but USA Today reports that the scene in which a mermaid’s body is found by a young boy was staged.
The Discovery Channel, which is headquartered in Silver Spring, is known as “the world’s #1 nonfiction media company,” according to its website.
The show’s website asks: “What if there’s a kernel of truth that lives beneath the legend of the mythical mermaid?”
However, an editor’s note provides the disclaimer that “this two-hour special is science fiction based on some real events and scientific theory.”
It appears not everyone read that part, or they chose to ignore it.
“I honestly think it is selfish of people to think we are the only human creatures on earth," one YouTube viewer commented, according to CNN. “There is stuff out there we can’t explain.”
Keeley Belva, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told CNN that the organization had recently received questions about the existence of mermaids, which she attributes, in part, to the release of the documentary.
NOAA recently published a statement on its website saying there is no evidence that “aquatic humanoids” have ever existed.
But, CNN reported that John Athanson, the public relations manager for Weeki Wachee (otherwise known as the “City of Live Mermaids”) Springs State Park near Tampa, believes mermaids are real.
"If you ask me, (mermaids) do exist," Athanson told CNN. "They exist, and they exist right here in Weeki Wachee."
So what do you think? Did you watch the documentary? Is it possible the mysterious, mythical creatures do exist? Tell us in comments.