Sure, Discovery Communications has likely heard the complaints from some regarding its recent trend toward programming specials that on the outside look like scientific documentaries about incredible discoveries — Mermaids! Megalodons! — but, on closer examination (and following a few seconds of rapid, hard-to-read disclaimers flashed at the end) turn out to be more fanciful “What if?” scenarios than true science. They can take those complaints under advisement and promptly ignore them, since the ratings for these shows are huge, and they will likely continue to make more of them, in addition to re-airing the ones they already created.
Animal Planet will be re-airing two of the granddaddies of these sorts of specials this Labor Day weekend — the two Mermaids specials. Mermaids: The Body Found first aired in 2012, and, according to the network, is “a story about evolutionary possibility grounded in scientific theory, which blends real-life events and phenomena with a first-hand account of a team of government scientists who testify they found the remains of a never-before-identified sea creature with ties to human origins — a mermaid. .. [Q]uestions are raised about whether or not the government is involved in a massive cover-up (hiding information about the possible survival of these [mermaids]) and if they exist today.”
Mermaids: The New Evidence is a follow-up special that first aired earlier this year. According to Animal Planet, “In an exclusive interview with Dr. Paul Robertson, former NOAA scientist who led last year’s investigation, journalist Jon Frankel probes for the unfiltered story and reveals new evidence of mermaids that only has come forward in the past year.”
Mermaids: The Body Found re-airs Sept. 1 at 8pm on Animal Planet.
Mermaids: The New Evidence re-airs Sept. 1 at 10pm on Animal Planet.
Mermaids: The Body Found photo – Credit Animal Planet