NOAA, the killjoy of the sea, has doubts about mermaids

NOAA, the killjoy of the sea, has doubts about mermaids
What? Mermaids aren't real? But I thought "The Little Mermaid" was a biopic. (Photo by Joe Grace. There was a person next to Ariel, but I cropped the person out. I don't normally take pictures of Disney statues. Really. I don't. I'm making it worse, aren't I?)

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has decided to set the record straight on mermaids.

Yes, mermaids. Half-fish, half-human, all awesome.

According to the Reuters story:

NOAA's National Ocean Service came out against the reality of mermaids after a documentary-style science fiction program on the Discovery Channel's Animal Planet suggested in May that the body of a mermaid had been found on a beach.

Unlike CNN – SUPREME COURT CONFIRMS MERMAIDS! – Reuters is not making this up. You can check out NOAA's page for yourself. Now, to be fair, NOAA never said mermaids absolutely don't exist. The scientific organization simply claimed that "no evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found." They did not capitalize EVER in that sentence, but you could tell that they really wanted to.

No worries, though. There's plenty of time left to search. We've only had since about the beginning of human history to confirm mermaids are out there playing in bands made up exclusively of underwater creatures. I'm sure a talking crab will set the record straight one of these days.

But – for the moment – it certainly seems like yet another fantastical creature I read about as a youth has been debunked. First, Santa Claus. Then, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny in a double whammy after the whole Santa Claus debacle. And now mermaids.

Next thing you know, some organization – probably the CIA – will be telling me there's not an actual boy wizard in England who saved the country – and maybe the world – from some heinous snake dude.

That one I might not believe.

• Joe Grace is a writer and journalist who lives in Chicago with his wife. Join your friends and neighbors in liking Going for Gusto on Facebook or following me on Twitter.

Filed under: Columns

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