GLOUCESTER, Mass. - The nation's ocean management agency has declared there is no such creature as a mermaid.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it felt the need to confirm that scientific fact because of movies and a "fictional documentary" on the Discovery Network's Animal Channel last month.
The documentary -- "Mermaids: The body found" -- was so convincing, NOAA said, that it got several public inquiries about the existence of aquatic humanoids.
The film included a blue-haired mermaid in a tightly fitting blue mermaid skirt, matching bikini top, emerging at New York's Coney Island beach in time for the annual "Mermaid Parade."
Discovery Channel officials were bemused by the federal government's response.
"Why would NOAA bother to pour cold water on mermaids?" the channel wondered on its website. "After all, there are many mythical things that the government doesn't explicitly deny exist. The United States Bureau of Mines doesn't issue statements clarifying that no dragons or trolls have been discovered in underground caves or mines."
Details for this story were provided by the Gloucester, Mass., Daily Times.