Mermaids Caught on Camera? 'Documentary' Gets Big Ratings

A mockumentary that aired on the cable channel has a brief disclaimer in the end credits.
2:48 | 05/30/13

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Transcript for Mermaids Caught on Camera? 'Documentary' Gets Big Ratings
All right, with that mermaid footage making such a big splash and fooling so many, the tale behind the astonishing pictures just keeps growing and abc's dan harris, he is here. He is the man. Yeah. Has the latest. We drew straws for this assignment, robin. I'm not sure what to make of it but on a planet with 2 million sps of actual animals the highest rated show to run on annal planet involves a fictional creature and enough believed it that the federal government actually felt compelled to come out and refute it. Check out what appears to be an incredible moment caught on camera. Two guys standing on a cliff see a mysterious creature on the rocks below. Got a seal on the rocks. This is but one piece of quote/unquote evidence coughed up by animal planet for the existence of mermaids. This show called "mermaids: The new evidence" a sequel to "mermaids: The body found" includes a former scientist with the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, noaaa. Myselfincluded believe this is a new species. Reporter: In case you haven't figured it out it's all fake. The other place where that's acknowledged is this super fast blink and you miss it disclaimer that appears at the tail end, excuse the pun, of the closing credits. And all it says though certain events in this film are fictional navy sonar tests have been directly implicated in whale beachings. Enough people either missed that disclaimer or missed basic science in school that noaa put out a statement reading "the person identifies as a noaa scientist was an actor." Last year when the first mockumentary came out noaa put out a statement ensuring the public that no evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Overnight we interviewed the show's creator and asked whether he should have been more forthcoming with viewers. We wanted people to approach the story with a sense of possibility and a sense of wonder and hopefully that's what mermaids allowed viewers to do suspend disbelief. Reporter: Either way it was a huge hit, 3.6 million watched. The largest audience in the network's 17-year history. Even more than watch the puppy bowl, the channel's super bowl halftime show. Even I watched the puppy bowl. What was the previous all-time most watched show on animal planet? It was about dragons. Of course. And, robin, shortly before we came on the air in a complete coincidence, the associated press ran a breaking news brief that apparently and this surprised me ungny corns are also not real. What? Just in, you've heard it here first from dan harris. All the breaking news from dan harris. All right, dan, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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