Animal Planet had audiences hooked with its documentary-esque special, responding to a similar feature it aired last summer, questioning the existance of mermaids.

"Mermaids: The New Evidence," part two of last year's "Mermaids: A Body Found," aired on the animal-focused network Sunday, capturing 3.6 million viewers.


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The visually-stunning special features "footage" of scientists tracking the origin of a partially digested creature discovered on the beaches of South Africa. Dr. Paul Robertson, played by Andre Weideman, later discovers that the remains do not match any discovered creatures such as dolphins or manatees.


The show gave Animal Planet an all-time record amount of viewers for the channel, according the the New York Daily News. The popularity of the special also put the network at the No. 1 spot for viewing demographics of viewers between the ages of 25 and 54.

Since the program aired, more than 1.5 million streams of "Mermaids" have popped up on the Internet, Animal Planet told reporters.

"The phenomenon of 'Mermaids' has truly been a watershed -- and a watercooler -- moment for Animal Planet," Marjorie Kaplan, network president, said in a statement.

Despite its success, the show garnered heavy criticisms from viewers who questioned the so-called evidence presented in the documentary. This is not much different from the response "A Body Found," which suggested evidence of marine humans that scientists had not yet released, received shortly after it aired.

Much of the footage in "A Body Found" has since been disproved by researchers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration immediately released a statement following the premiere of "The New Evidence," reminding viewers that scientists have long ago debunked the existence of mermaids.

"No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found," the statement read.