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Were You Pulled in By the Mermaid Hoax?

Flickr user Bug-E

Last week Animal Planet broke a viewership record. And the producer of the show openly admits that it’s not real.

If you watched “Mermaids: The New Evidence“, it’s easy to see how you could have been pulled in. The hour long program was presented as a Larry King-esque interview show featuring a generically telegenic host, a legit looking and sounding “expert” and shaky clips of “evidence”.

The only problem – they’re actors and the clips were fake.

I watched just to see what they had to say and I definitely noticed that some of the dialogue seemed just a little too neat and tidy for a spontaneous conversation. During the close of the show I also noticed credits for “Writers”.

I’m not trying to be a wet blanket here or a skeptic, in fact the producer of the program comes right out and says, “Using a straight, documentarian approach made the story more persuasive by appealing more to a sense of intellectual possibility as well as emotional possibility.”

And a lot of people got reeled in. “Mermaids” was the top trending topic on Twitter when the program premiered. And the Animal Planet network broke viewership records with the piece of seafaring fantasy.

Did you watch “Mermaids: The New Evidence”? If so, did you catch on to the hoax at the time?

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