Discovery Channel Mermaid Hoax Debunked

In 2012, the Discovery Channel aired a special that reportedly provided evidence that mermaids had been located. Aired on Animal Planet, the show set ratings records for the channels. The ratings were so good, in fact, that a sequel to the original hoax show was developed and aired as well. If you wait around to the end of the show, it admits that it is fake as the credits are about the roll. The only problem is that not everyone waited to the end of the show. They saw the fake documentary as real because it was being initially portrayed as real, so now it is a hoax that needs to be debunked.

Why Do People Turn Fiction Into Fact Like This?

Humanity has a generic desire to trust the things that they see. If something is presented as fact, then it is going to be believed by at least some of the audience. The same is true for every faux documentary or mockumentary film and show that has ever been produced. There are still people who believe that Spinal Tap recounts actual events. It happens.

What made the Discovery Channel mermaid hoax a little more convincing was the fact that is was aired on what is generally an educational TV channel. People watch Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel to learn new things and have their horizons opened up. Although at best the Mermaids special was speculative science, the presentation of mermaids as fact on a station with proven expertise fooled more people than usual.

The Marketing Materials of the Special Prove It To Be a Hoax

All you need to do is look at the description that the Discovery Channel provided for their mermaids special to see that it is a hoax. Here is what it said:

“What if there’s a kernel of truth behind the legend of this mythic creature? Is the idea of mermaids really so far-fetched? Maybe so, maybe not. The show itself, though science fiction, is based on some real events and scientific theory.”

This clearly shows that the show is about speculative science and nothing more. It is presenting mermaids as fact to get people to think about what would happen if mermaids were real.

If the description of the show isn’t enough to debunk the show as a hoax, then the title of the press release that was distributed by the Discovery Channel should. It “paints a wildly convincing picture of the existence of mermaids, what they may look like, and what they’ve stayed hidden… until now.”

Although other aspects of the press release and the description of the show are designed to add a sense of reality to the mermaid specials, this is all playing into the hoax to build ratings. By building up the press, they can build up their viewer base. With higher levels of viewers, they can charge more for advertising. It always comes down to dollars and cents.

Mermaids are definitely one of the most fascinating creatures that have ever been invented by humans. Maybe there are actual mermaids that are in the depths of the sea, but this documentary from Discovery Channel didn’t find them. It’s simply another hoax that needs to be debunked.