The National Ocean Service made the announcement in response to enquiries from the public, prompted by a TV show on the mythical half-woman, half-fish.

It is reported that some viewers may have mistaken the programme for a documentary.

“No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found,” the service wrote in an online post.

The Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet network screened Mermaids: The Body Found in May.

The channel has since conceded that some viewers believed the fictional show was a science education programme.

National Ocean Service spokeswoman Carol Kavanagh told the BBC that at least two people had written to the agency asking about mermaids.

Whoever said Americans were dumb?

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