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Preview: Were mermaids aquatic apes?

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In the two-hour CGI Special “Mermaids: The Body Found,” Animal Planet dives deep into the idea that mermaids may have been real, and, even better -- related to humans!

“It’s a very radical theory on human evolution, but we have approached an age-old myth and really chased its origins,” Animal Planet honcho Charlie Foley told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “It has been compiled in a way that is very compelling, making us think that mermaids might not just be mythical creatures.”

The show unravels mysterious underwater sound recordings and presents a bone-chilling argument for the Aquatic Ape Theory, which suggests that during the transition from apes to hominid, some humans went through an aquatic stage. This stage is argued to have resulted in “aquatic ape-like” creatures.

“There are striking differences between us and other primates, yet [there are] many features we share with marine mammals, like the webbing between our fingers, which other primates don’t have, a layer of subcutaneous fat, and a loss of body hair,” Foley explained. “We also have an instinctive ability to swim, and control over breath. Humans can hold breath up to 20 minutes, longer than any other terrestrial animal.”

“Mermaids: The Body Found” ponders the concept that coastal flooding millions of years ago turned some of our ancestors inland, while another group branched off into the deep water out of necessity and for food.

According to Foley, “Mermaids: The Body Found” is just the first tiny ripple in a tide of discoveries he anticipates will be brought to the surface in the coming years.

“It all comes back to the question of ‘Where do we come from?’ as there is so much speculation and questioning,” he said. “The surface of the moon has been examined more closely than aspects of the deep sea.”

“Mermaids: The Body Found” airs during Animal Planet’s first-ever MONSTER WEEK, May 21-28.

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