What could be better cover for a mermaid than claiming to be a fake mermaid? Scuba divers accidentally wandered into an underwater photo shoot of a professional mermaid actress and had no idea what was going on. Fans identified her in their video and she responded affirmatively, confirming it was indeed her they found. Some still claim this is what an actual mermaid would say to avoid detection.
Arguably, the most famous of faked mermaids is the Fiji mermaid displayed by American showman P.T. Barnum who made a career out of celebrating hoaxes and promoting and displaying them anyway, to no less wonder or astonishment from his captive audiences, who often believed he would say it was fake even if it was real.
The public is so anxious to believe in the possibility of mermaids that when Animal Planet made a “mockuentary” claiming the discovery of real mermaid evidence many believed it to be true in a manner reminiscent of the War of the Worlds radio broadcast which portrayed an alien invasion as a series of news bulletins that those who tuned in late did not realize was a science-fiction story.
Mermaid and Merman actors continue to delight fans with increasingly realistic displays made capable by technology and creativity, as well as people committed to bringing these fantastic creatures of myth and wonder to life.