iSTORYA.NET - The Success of Mockumentaries: Animal Planet's Mermaid Phenomeon
    • The Success of Mockumentaries: Animal Planet's Mermaid Phenomeon


      Almost 2 months ago, my Facebook feeds, probably yours also, were full of this mermaid video that somehow sparked that child fantasy in every hopeful but non-investigative individual. I must admit, I was one of those. Phew! Too much of Ariel and childhood stories magnetized me to this “mockumentary”.


      Nytimes.com

      Well, if you have seen a trailer such as this, one would get hooked.



      So, kudos to Animal Planet who managed, once again to captivate viewers with its mermaid story. Actually, the one that was spreading recently was a sequel to a fictional documentary that was aired last 2012. It was called, “Mermaids: The Body Found”. It stimulated a presentation of real-life body of evidence that mermaids exist and despite warnings from NOAA or the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, it still successfully fooled millions and even sparked debates about mythical creatures on Twitter.

      Mermaids: The Body Found last 2012 had the highest ratings for the year for cable channels. And then 2months ago, May of 2013, its sequel, “Mermaids: The New Evidence” was spreading like wildfire in social media newsfeeds, giving the channel its biggest audience ever—3.6 million viewers.

      Again, NOAA warned and even mentioned about the absurdity of a half human-half fish creature. But still, the video became viral and attracted a very large audience of believers and of course, gave the cable channel a new ratings record in its 17-year-history.


      However, video editors and those who are working in film can clearly see that it’s a not so carefully-crafted hoax. Lightings in the scene and even stated “facts” are unbelievable (like the sea depth that the submarine went through). So how do mockumentaries become successful despite these careless but not so obvious mistakes? Here’s our take.
      1. Hire a credible scientist that would back up your story and moreso, create conflicts through other credible characters as well that would somehow arise suspicion. In this mockumentary, they got Dr. Paul Robertson, a biologist who claimed to obtain new footage of the mythical creature shot near Greenland last spring.

      2. Cite real but controversial theories and relate it to said phenomenon. In this case, Dr. Robertson stated that they wanted the story to appeal to a sense of genuine possibility, and incorporating real science and evolutionary theory and real world scientific examples. They mentioned the evolution theory and the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis to really ground their case. This made it more appealing to a sense of intellectual possibility as well as emotional possibility.

      3. The featured scientist would stake his professional reputation just to have this “theory” revealed. In this case, Dr. Robertson even suggested that the NOAA statement was part of government cover-up.

      4. Always, always put the disclaimer that this is not true. But put it in super minute and “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” letters. The film did include a statement that it was “science fiction” based on “scientific theory (artfully crafted equivocation) but it was gone before you can even see it at the end of the program.

      Animal Planet’s president and General Manager Marjorie Kaplan told the LA times that the mermaid phenomenon has become a watershed moment for Animal Planet. These extraordinary TV specials have electrified , challenged and entertained TV audiences and online fans alike.

      NOAA told the Hufftington Post that “Mermaids: The New Evidence” is just entertainment and that no evidence of mermaids has ever been found. Ever.

      It goes to show that a concept can really come a long way, as long as it is perfectly-conjured and it touches that emotional and intellectual feel. What we can do is of course, investigate first before believing everything and devour hoax information like a sponge.

      As an end note, we'd like to say, Ariel, please stay in Disney and under the sea.

      Source: DigitalJournal.com


      Discussions about scientific theories, hoax, discoveries and other phenomenon are so much engaging at our forum. Check out and participate on our topics---> SCIENCE forum.


      -thisbe.ara-
      Comments 24 Comments
      1. roeljay111's Avatar
        roeljay111 -
        wa ta kahibaw! kung tinuud diay nah
      1. lescraman's Avatar
        lescraman -
        paytera...
      1. %75life4Him's Avatar
        %75life4Him -
        mura baya jud syag katoohan.
      1. hanzsoul's Avatar
        hanzsoul -
        wala ta kabaw kadako ug kalawom sa dagat pila pa gyud ka porsento ang na explore sa mga scientist. hasta ug tinoud sad na sila si spongebob sa... hahahah...
      1. Dansuy's Avatar
        Dansuy -
        naa man unta topic ani sa Science thread, gi closed sa mod kay di daw tinood... tsk50x
      1. bungoton's Avatar
        bungoton -
        nindot ni sila kay kahibaw mamana, targeton man sad diay nila ang isda hahaha
      1. Lakbay Pilipino's Avatar
        Lakbay Pilipino -
        naay mermaid sa cebu uy, mag stand-up paddle pa gani hahahaha
        Mermaid Club in Cebu - YouTube
      1. kageron's Avatar
        kageron -
        Quote Originally Posted by Dansuy View Post
        naa man unta topic ani sa Science thread, gi closed sa mod kay di daw tinood... tsk50x
        hoax bitaw ni awa gali CNN
      1. Yazbuh's Avatar
        Yazbuh -
        At first ?I was into this but ilang mga footage "daw", looks very fake, and makes me loose my respect to animal planet...
      1. Dansuy's Avatar
        Dansuy -
        ila ra cguro gi ingon nga fake para dili ma panik mga tawo.... pareha gud ug aliens UFO, dili gyud nila i public
      1. bossjan's Avatar
        bossjan -
        Quote Originally Posted by hanzsoul View Post
        wala ta kabaw kadako ug kalawom sa dagat pila pa gyud ka porsento ang na explore sa mga scientist. hasta ug tinoud sad na sila si spongebob sa... hahahah...
        mao..wa jd ta kabaw...dako jd kaayo ang kalibutan.
        bisan gne sa land wa paman gne nasulbad ang mga bigfoot stories etc.
        sa dagat naba kaha na lisod kaayo abton
      1. garboso's Avatar
        garboso -
        how about Discovery Channel's Shark Week Ad - Snuffy The Seal. I think daghan pod nituo ato.

        "Snuffy the Seal" Shark Week Ad 2013 - YouTube
      1. jcjven19's Avatar
        jcjven19 -
        Nice info by the way.........
      1. May Ang's Avatar
        May Ang -
        Quote Originally Posted by Dansuy View Post
        ila ra cguro gi ingon nga fake para dili ma panik mga tawo.... pareha gud ug aliens UFO, dili gyud nila i public
        sakto jud ka!
      1. blu bizcuitz's Avatar
        blu bizcuitz -
        They put a disclaimer at the end but they said that the so-called "bloop" was real. I hope they make continuation to this one.
      1. May Ang's Avatar
        May Ang -
        Quote Originally Posted by Dansuy View Post
        ila ra cguro gi ingon nga fake para dili ma panik mga tawo.... pareha gud ug aliens UFO, dili gyud nila i public
        sakto jud ka!
      1. aqua.v's Avatar
        aqua.v -
        naa may basis ang animal planet. though dili pa tinuod karon kay ang evidence dili gyud maka point out ani na creature but sooner or later mahibawan na nato. besides, mammal bya daw ang mermaid so intelligent creatures cla na kahibalo mo likaw ug taw...
      1. nero125's Avatar
        nero125 -
        kayasa ana sah!!! tinuod ba jud kaha na?!
      1. crossramz's Avatar
        crossramz -
        tungod ani gi infraction ko ni @vern; hahaha
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