Saturday, September 28, 2013


While winds blew and the clouds alternately sulked and wept  in an unusually premature winter storm outside my friend's house in Oregon, I watched a very well-made documentary about mermaids.

The  documentary, the latest of a series which appeared on the Animal Planet TV channel,  blew my mind. It linked  mermaids to the evolution of man and presented evidences of those creatures' existence.

Mermaids are said to be half-man and half-fish. They've been the tale of many a seafarer since time immemorial.  Homer, in his "Odyssey," called them sirens -- beautiful creatures of the sea  who lured, seduced, and tricked  unwitting sailors to their doom.  

 In certain parts of Asia  they are believed to be the wives of powerful sea dragons.  Australian aborigines call them " "yawkyawks." In the Philippines , male mermaids are called "shokoy" and the females, "sirena."

Not to be overlooked, Disneyland has "Ariel," the little mermaid and every little girl's fantasy.

Animal Planet's latest Mermaid episode was so interesting -- down to where it said that the US government allegedly suppresses findings about mermaids  just as it supposedly  withholds information about  extra-terrestials  -- that I immediately switched on  my computer  to do some research.

My research turned up three things:  1)  that  the US government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  had branded Animal Planet's documentary as a hoax; 2)  I found a Youtube video  of the documentary's previous episodes that I am actually share with you (please see below); and 3) be it a hoax or not, the documentary serves at least two purposes.

Animal Planet's "Mermaids" turns our attention to the symbiotic relationship between man and the creatures of the ocean. Man and fish, whales, dolphins and even sharks have  helped each other since time immemorial and continue to help each other even now. There have been times, for example,  when whales and dolphins have saved men from danger and vice versa.  Earth, we are one!

Although it may be  fully or partially faux, Animal Planet's "Mermaids"  takes us out of our boxes and mental sets. It tickles and prods our imagination to bring us  to  where no man has ever gone before, to paraphrase Star Trek's Captain Kirk.

For that alone,  "Mermaids"  is very well worth watching.  and thinking about.

And oh, unicorns don't exist either. 

Here is the video of the  first two episodes of the documentary courtesy of

photo from

Posted with Aloha from Albany, Oregon
- Ariel Murphy


  1. Yes, I watched that show. Didn't find it to be very credible, but you know me - a born skeptic. "Man" loves to assign human or god-like values to things we don't understand. Time and time again there are simpler, logical explanations once more evidence is gathered. And, yes, I expected more reality and less fantasy from Animal Planet.

    1. Centuries ago, people thought that the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth. Quantum physics and even quantum mechanics were unheard of during the time of Galileo. And did we even think during the Renaissance age that there is a cyberspace? Just because something cannot be scientifically or even logically explained now doesn't mean it is not possible or does not exist. Even us humans have limited capacities and abilities. Imagination is a way of transcending that limitation. Skepticism is not bad. What could be deplorable is to be stuck in a box, utterly bereft of a sense of wonder.

  2. 1st, "the clouds alternately sulked and wept" is genius and would make a great 1st line in a short story (sounds like Tom Robbins' description of Seattle weather)

    2nd, both your post & the Einstein quote explains why scientists write and read scifi.

    3rd, IMO the simple act of writing 1's imagination creates our future. (just an opinion - no evidence {yet} that quantum spookiness works at our scale of reality)

    1. "at our scale of reality" are the key words Doug! And oh, quantum spookiness works for me, if only as a pitiful attempt to raise my scale of reality. Every little bit helps bring my hand a bit closer to touching stars (and mermaids). Wonder is a wonderful word! Thank you for your incisive yet concise review.