Federal agency reports: Sorry, no such thing as mermaids. And no Zombie Holocaust, says CDC
The United States’ most trusted authority on all things sea-people has finally confirmed that, no, there is no such thing as mermaids. Sorry.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a federally-run division of the United States Department of Commerce, has published a page on their official website that addresses recent rumors that question the authenticity of the half-man/half-fish hybrid. You know — just in case you had a hunch that maybe amphibious, finned humans are an actual thing.
On a NOAA page included under the “Ocean Facts” section, the administration has published an article addressing the age-old question: are mermaids real?
“No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found,” writes NOAA. “Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers and anthropologists.”
The NOAA-penned explanation comes weeks after television network Animal Planet began airing Mermaids: The Body Found, a special that advertises itself as being able to paint “a wildly convincing picture of the existence of mermaids, what they may look like and why they’ve stayed hidden…until now.” The two-hour special was aired during the network’s Monster Week, May 21-28. On the Animal Planet site, the network notes that the new show “brings viewers into the world where the legend is real.”
“Mermaids: The Body Found makes a strong case for the existence of the mermaid, a creature with a surprisingly human evolutionary history, whose ancestral branch splits off from a shared human root,” reads a press release about the special. The statement’s author adds that, although the film is science fiction, its producers used “science as a springboard into imagination” and did incorporate a couple of real-life events into the special, including covert sonar tests conducted by the US Navy during the 1990s and other findings, including tests actually conducted by the NOAA.
“The film blends real-life events and phenomena with the story of two scientists who testify they found the remains of a never-before-identified sea creature. Spectacular CGI animates a world where mermaids really do swim below the water’s surface, cooperatively hunt with dolphins and may continue to survive in an intricate society where they stay hidden in fear of their Earth-bound relatives.”
Apparently the success of Mermaids: The Body Found was significant enough that it prompted a federally run agency to address the highly debated topic. The news shouldn’t come as a shocker to producer, however, who note on the special’s website that the film “is so compelling with evidence and so credible” that the network was re-broadcasting it throughout Monster Week.
The NOAA’s formal rejection of the mermaid myth comes but only one month after the Centers for Disease Control was prompted to tell Americans that, no, there is no zombie apocalypse in the US.
The US Center for Disease Control has been forced to address the American public in the wake of internet rumors of a possible ‘zombie apocalypse”.
It’s hard to say which is more ‘out there’: that people believe there might be a virus that reanimates dead people, or that a federal agency actually weighed in on the issue in earnest.
The CDC has previously run a few tongue-in-cheek campaigns about zombies, using the popular theme to get the public prepared for “anything”. As the agency’s director says, “if you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse, you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack”.
But it’s now found itself in an unusual spot: having to treat the matter seriously. CDC spokesman David Daigle said the agency “does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms)”.
But it’s not reassuring the masses. Zombie conspiracies are bouncing around the Internet, becoming the third most-popular search term on Google – all after a number of unrelated, yet disturbing, incidents.
A man in Miami attacked and ate the face of his victim. The victim survived, but doctors are having a hard time piecing his face together. Then, an engineering student in Maryland allegedly stabbed a man to death and then ate his heart and brain. In Canada, police are on the hunt for a porn actor who reportedly slaughtered, dismembered, sexually-violated the body and then ate his victim.
The cause for this cannibalistic outbreak is unclear – some blame drugs, others cite psychological issues. One woman even claimed it was all because of a voodoo curse. But the human fascination with the undead is not new; it’s one of the reasons the CDC used them for an awareness campaign in the first place.
And even though they deny the existence of zombies, a kit list on their website provides readers with information about everything they may need in case a zombie does come around.
So, in case you’re feeling panicky, remember: non-perishable food, medications, a utility knife, sanitation supplies, clothing, personal documents and one gallon of water per day should keep the undead away.