There are sadly not many mermaid documentaries out there. But I compiled a list of mermaid and mermaid-related documentaries that might be interesting to most mermaid lovers.
All of them cover different areas of the mermaid and underwater world. So Let’s get right into it.
1. Mermaids: The body found
This mermaid documentary is certainly the most popular one. It features a scientist who found mysterious aquatic creatures and now wants to share his groundbreaking findings to the world.
But it also the only documentary on this list, that is not even a real documentary.
That is because “Mermaids: the body found” and its sequel “Mermaids: The New Evidence” are fake documentaries that do not hold any scientific ground.
The alleged scientists are just actors and the so-called facts about how mermaids have evolved and the video evidence they show, are not real.
But mermaids have always fascinated people and so it is no wonder that this fake documentary became as popular as it is.
In 2012 the American TV channel Animal Planet broadcasted the fictional documentary for the first time and hit a record with 1.9 million views.
Here is the documetary.
And it definitely is a thrilling watch. Even if you keep in mind, that most of it is made up.
Here are a few examples of wrong information and faked evidence:
- In the fake documentary, they show cave drawings of mermaids, but this is photoshopped. There is a cave-like that in Egypt called “The cave of swimmers“, but there are no mermaids depicted, only swimming humans.
- The aquatic ape theory that is used to explain how mermaids could have evolved is strongly criticized in the scientific community because there is no real evidence that humans ever had an aquatic ancestor.
- Sadly they even give wrong facts about groups of people. For example, they say that the people of the Moken tribe from Thailand who often hunted underwater can see clearly underwater by constricting their pupils willingly and frame this as an adaptation to life in water. But in reality, this is just something any young children can learn because their lenses are still soft, not an adaptation to life in the water. Once they become adults they lose that ability.
You can read more about why you should watch such fake documentaries with caution here.
This documentary is the first documentary about human memaids that participate in the sport of mermaiding.
It follows three women and illuminated what it means to them to transform into a mermaid figure.
One of them is a former member of the Weeki Wachi mermaid shows in Florida, which was the first mermaid show ever and continues to this day.
This is a beautiful documentary and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in mermaiding and the growing mermaid subculture.
You can watch the whole documentary on vimeo for a few dollars.
3. Diving Women from Japan and Korea
They are often called the mermaids of Japan and Korea – women who have been diving for centuries to make a living from the sea food they find around the islands they live on.
It is fascinating to see, how they dive so effortlessly in the cold water and what stong female communities they have build.
This documentary follows a group of japanese divers:
And here is a short video about women from the Island of Jeju in Korea:
4. Atlantis Documentary
Even though this documentary is not directly about mermaids, it covers the similar fascinating topic of a underwater civilisation, or sunken city.
The documentary explores places around the earth where there are mysterious sunken structures and shows what they look like with stunning animations.
If you are interested in ancient human civilisations and what traces they might have left, then this is a great watch.
5. The Last Mermaid – A Girl with Mermaid Syndrome
This documentary shows the life of Shiloh, one of the only 5-7 people who ever survived with the extremely rare mermaid syndrome. This condition results in the merging of the legs so that they resemble a mermaid tail.
You can watch it here on YouTube.
Even though this is a serious disease, this little girl shows everyone which struggles she can overcome and how much she loves life and swimming.
6. Mermaid Tears: Plastic Pollution
Mermaid tears are small sparkling pieces of material that have been worn down by the waves of the ocean for a long time.
The most well-known form of mermaid tears is sea glass that you can sometimes find on the beach.
The other, much more common and deadly form of mermaid tears are plastic pieces that found their way into the ocean and pose great danger to all sea creatures.
This documentary shows what the plastic pollution means for our oceans as well as for human health.
7. Manatees and Dugongs: the real mermaids
It is believed that many mermaid myths came to be because people saw manatees and dugongs (sea cows) and mistook them for beautiful mermaids.
In fact, even Christopher Columbus claimed that he had seen mermaids close to Haiti when he sailed there in 1492.
He wasn’t very excited though, because according to him the mermaids looked like bearded men.
In reality, he most likely saw West Indian manatees who live in the Carribbean sea.
They do have a strong connection to mermaids indeed though. Even the name of their biological order results from that association: they are called Sirenians or sirens, which was derived from the sirens from Greek mythology because of how much they resemble mermaids.
They definitely are fascinating animals. If you are interested in nature documentaries, this one is a beautiful one about the family of Sirenians in Australia: the dugongs.
8. Mermaid Tales from Scotland
No one would expect to find many mermaids in the freezing Scottish sea. But there is one and she even took a BBC camera team with her to show them the secret underwater world around the Scottish islands.
Here is a video from her Youtube Channel.
If you are in the UK, you can watch the episodes on the website of BBC ALBA. In other locations, it is sadly not available. But I’ll keep an eye open to see if they release it soon.
Another “mermaid” documentary from the UK is called “The Mertyr mermaid” and follows an ice water swimmer on her quest to set a world record for swimming in the antarctic. It is however currently also only available to watch if you are in the UK.