Mermaids: The New Evidence is a Fake Documentary

Last year, David and several other marine science bloggers debunked Animal Planet’s amazingly fraudulent mermaid foc-u-mentary (yes, I’m coining that term for fake documentaries that show absolute disdain for their audience. It’s not satire. It’s not parody. It’s a giant middle finger to the public). No need to retread old ground–read the original coverage:

In case you missed them (and who could blame you if you did), here are screen captures of the disclaimers briefly shown at the end of Mermaids: The New Evidence stating that the show is a work of fiction.

mermaids 1


mermaids 2


UPDATE: Here are three articles about real marine animals that are significantly more awesome than fake mermaids.

Interested in some good ocean science fiction? Why not check out Fleet: The Complete Collection (also in paperback)!


  1. Chris · May 28, 2013

    I have to admit I showed this to my class (marine mammal science) after a heavy lecture day.Some of the commentary on navy sonar related strandings is actually not too off the actually science, albeit a little dated. We discussed the accurate/ inaccurate bits. The bit on the ‘aquatic ape hypothesis’ also led to a good discussion on the validity of the hypothesis, and evolution of marine mamamls … but there was only so much we could take.

  2. victor · May 28, 2013

    I was shocked to watch this with my child and take it in as real only to have to tell her a day later they lied to us not at all happy with animal planet

  3. Angel Kirkbride · May 29, 2013

    if you cant say it is NOT possible but also cant sit there and say it IS possible then why is everyone disputting this saying it’s real or fake, honestly none of you know, as in the case with religion, no one REALLY knows but it is dependent on your faith, ask youself could there possibly be something out there closer than any other species to us?? I do NOT see how anyone can answer that. So just think of this as information not right or wrong just information, because after all NO ONE REALLY KNOWS. GOD BLESS 🙂

    • Andrew David Thaler · May 29, 2013

      Here is what we know. We know Animal Planet created a fake documentary that even the producer admitted was a work of fiction. We know all the evidence for the existence of mermaids presented in that documentary was fabricated. We know that the NOAA “scientist” they used to present this evidence was actor Andre Weideman. We know that the aquatic ape hypothesis has been debunked for 30 years. So yes, we do know, without-a-doubt that the documentary is false and that there is no credible evidence for mermaids.

      Look, the ocean is a vast, unexplored frontier. The deep sea is Earth’s last great wilderness. When we do venture into the abyss, we find creatures more diverse and incredible that our relatively limited imaginations can conceive. Don’t insult that wonder with something as utterly mundane as “human with fish tail”.

    • leah · May 29, 2013

      You sound really ridiculous. Its completely wrong, all completely made up. Animal planet has gone down the drain

  4. Dr. M · May 29, 2013

    Andrew David Thaler for the win. Best comment over. I cried a bit at the last sentence!

  5. Rufus · May 29, 2013

    “Andre Weideman” is the actor on “the body found” re-enactment, not dr. paul robertson being interviewed.

    sheesh look it up on google before you state that robertson is an actor!

    • Andrew David Thaler · May 29, 2013

      Sorry, you’re wrong. “Dr. Paul Robertson” is a character played by Andre Weideman in both fake mermaid documentaries. He is an actor.

  6. Dr. James T. Walker, Veterinarian, Epidemiologist · May 29, 2013

    ” Logic will get you from A to Z; Imagination will get you everywhere”, Albert Einstein,

  7. Gerald R. · May 30, 2013

    After watching this I said to myself “if the videos are real then it’s not a matter of it being a theory, it’s actual fact – ‘mermaids’ DO EXIST”. But that was the big “if”. I myself put those disclaimers on pause to read them and I immediately started cussing. Animal Planet has lost all credibility. Did Animal Planet show this bogus program in order to help stop the sonar testing? If so, does Animal Planet have the belief that the ends justifies the means?

  8. Justn Wood · May 30, 2013

    I for one was FURIOUS!!! that what I thought was one of he last slightly reputable sources of info, showed that bull crap and passed it off as real. But honestly to say you know for a fact they aren’t real with no evidence is the same as saying it is real with fake evidence. Just saying! The smartest man in the world knows he knows nothing. With that being said unless you have proof and seen it with your own eyes or, have concrete evidence of them not existing it’s all theory. So the argument about the plausibility of the whole thing is mute.

    • Andrew David Thaler · May 30, 2013

      Sorry Justn, but the onus of proof is on those claiming that something exists, not the other way around. What exactly is “concrete evidence” of something not existing?

  9. Jacqueline Lavanchy · May 30, 2013

    You can prove something does exist, but you cannot prove something doesn’t exist.

  10. Randy Hoffman · May 30, 2013

    We all need to settle down with at least a notion to re-read David Hume’s Section “Of Miracles” of his tome “An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding”.
    I’m always reminded of his defining the burden of proof and why.

  11. Ralph · May 30, 2013

    I just took Animal Planet off my favorites list. Bye liars!!

  12. m. maans · May 31, 2013

    alright, when i saw the first so called documentary,”mermaids body found” i really thought it was real. animal planet really done a convincing job in leading people to believe it was true, and it wasn’t until they started with that phony infomercial looking correspondent JOHN FRANKEL interviewing all these so called witnesses that the whole show started to have that fictional air about it, and then once i found out that DR. ROBERTSON was played by an actor named ANDRE WEIDMAN then i really felt douped, thanx animal planet for wasting my time!

  13. Dave · May 31, 2013

    The guy being interviewed by John Frankel is not the actor Andre Weideman. Andre Weideman is the actor that portrayed him in the reenactment in “Mermaids body found” in the scenes where they show them in the lab with the remains found in the shark, and when they removed the remains from the shark at the dock. Look up his profile on Google with his photo. He is the same guy in the reenactments, not the guy being interviewed. Now whether the guy being interviewed is the real Dr. Robertson or not , I don’t know. I’ve never seen an actual photo of him yet.

  14. Matthew Bryant · June 16, 2013

    The guy being interviewed is Sean Cameron Michael, another South African actor. Look up the movie on

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