My wife was gaping in amazement at Animal Planet yesterday, and she didn't know what to believe as "scientists" purportedly from the Smithsonian announced that mermaid-like creatures exist. As she called me over, I noticed that the bits and pieces pulled out of a shark's stomach did not look very real, but I wondered how they had gotten anybody from the Smithsonian Institution to say those things. I suspected someone desperate for money and attention, but of course the answer was simpler: they were all actors. Apparently, thousands of people swallowed the show hook line and sinker. There are people online who still think it's real after they realize the scientists were actors, apparently they "did it to protect the real scientists" (major facepalming ensued). I do hope that they realize the Avatar-style CGI was not real footage at least (but after all the slightly less fishy dinosaur shows, people are inclined to accept anything as "scientific reconstructions") When we came to America and signed up for Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, I guess I was hoping for David Attenborough-style documentaries. Instead, we get "mockumentaries" that arguably make people stupider (they also made a show claiming that the extinct shark Megalodon still exists and is currently munching on some of the biggest whales), and had me doubting a serious scientific institution (Smithsonian, not Animal Planet ). People are so gullible that they will believe things given far less "evidence" than this. Sadly, it's all about the ratings, so I guess they don't care. Rant over.