The episode opens with alleged (and almost certainly hoax) footage of a mythological monster, and the show alleges that stories of sea monsters must be true because creatures that resemble mythological sea monsters were later discovered. That does not, logically, mean that the story represented actual knowledge of the animals, but the show doesn’t care much for logic. (For that matter, the kraken legend cited in the show originally referred to a giant fish and only took on a squid form after 1751, not that this show cares.) William Henry simply asserts that undersea animals unknown to science are “mind-blowing.” The show claims that 99% of Earth’s “livable space” is underwater, which I presume must take Earth’s land as flat and the ocean as three dimensional, but the show’s pundits don’t (or more likely can’t) explain and instead parrot clichéd one-liners about the wonders of the ocean found in innumerable online articles.
The segment goes on to describe various sea creatures found in recent decades, including the so-called “immortal jellyfish,” which can revert to its juvenile stage and restart their growth cycle. The show then repeats material about sea plankton on the International Space Station that first appeared in “Creatures of the Deep,” which aired in 2015 but nevertheless is declared “recent” here. Since I already covered this material in 2015, there is no reason to repeat myself here.
Giorgio Tsoukalos claims that sea creatures are so different from land animals that they must have been “imported” from other planets. The narrator builds on this by suggesting that ocean creatures are part of an “alien agenda.” Well, the aliens did offer guarantees to fish, according to Tsoukalos, so I guess witness protection is not out of the question.
The second segment starts with the ideas of panspermia advocate Chandra Wickramasinghe, who has appeared on the show many times, wrote a book with Orion Correlation Theory advocate Robert Bauval, and has gone far beyond the original idea of panspermia to embrace a wide range of extreme ancient astronaut ideas, including some involving creationist claims. Panspermia is one of the most popular topics in latter-day ancient astronautics, though here the show’s producers don’t bother to explain the connection to weird fish. Instead, it sends Tsoukalos into the field to examine meteorites from 1998 that had organic material and water found within. There is nothing inherently wrong with the idea of panspermia, at least in the form that claims the building-blocks of life accidentally came to Earth on a meteor. The more extreme claim that it was intentionally sent here by space aliens, perhaps with “programmed” DNA designed to create specific creatures, however, is—to put it mildly—problematic. For Ancient Aliens, however, panspermia would seem to provide rejoinder against the ancient astronaut theory, for why would the aliens use clumsy meteors in the hope of seeding life when they could simply nip on over in a flying saucer with a few tubes of bacteria and save themselves a lot of agony waiting to see if the meteors took root?
The third segment asks whether octopuses (or octopodes if you prefer) are space aliens. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the show did a segment about this claim in last year’s “They Came from the Sky,” so I might as well just paste in my summary, written in the wake of last year’s article “in an academic journal claiming that octopuses are space aliens whose genetic code traveled to Earth aboard a meteor. As should be clear to anyone, octopuses share much in common with other non-octopus creatures, like squid, cuttlefish, the other mollusks, etc. They are therefore not space aliens.” The show, however, insists that octopuses are too different from other Earth creatures to be from Earth. As I further said in my review of one of Wickramasinghe’s books, “This is a dubious claim at best given their well-documented affinity with other members of the mollusk family, not to mention the fact that their biology is decidedly earthly, and operates with the same internal systems as other Earth creatures. What are the chances that space aliens would be identical to Earth creatures? Are octopuses weird? Sure. Does that make them aliens? Only Cthulhu knows for sure.” The season 13 segment went on to discuss panspermia, and this episode seems to think itself clever by reversing the order of the claims to make them seem fresh. The narrator tells us that one day the octopus “will rule the Earth.” I don’t know. The coelacanth still has a lease that I’m not sure the octopus can break.
This leads to a familiar segment about myths and legends of sea gods with octopus-like features. Andrew Collins tells us that images of the octopus in Minoan art with “bizarre large eyes” prove that ancient people know octopuses are space aliens. Has he seen an octopus? They have big eyes. He seems to be imagining that the Minoans were painting Grey alien heads with tentacles, but they were merely depicting the octopus as drawn from life.
The fourth segment discusses underwater caves known as “blue holes” in Bermuda where in 1978 unexpected life was discovered in areas thought to be too deep, dark, and salty to support it. The narrator suggests that some sea creatures such as the Giant Squid “defy explanation,” though the show doesn’t bother to explain exactly what that is supposed to mean. They seem to be using it as a synonym for “unusual” or “not yet fully studied.” The show then asks if more creatures wait to be discovered beneath the waves, which as best I can tell is not a question related to space aliens, unless these fish have treaties with aliens like the coelacanth does. Childress, nonsensically, asks if aliens have “bases” at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, and we then slide into a revised version of the “Underwater Worlds” episode from years ago. This claim is nevertheless strange since in an earlier episode Childress alleged that space aliens use underwater portals to teleport to Earth and therefore did not need bases.
The fifth segment repeats old claims from radio host Jimmy Church that a rocky feature near Malibu that he observed on Google Earth is an alien base. As I wrote when Church made the claim in 2014, “The so-called alien base is a known geological feature called a thrust fault, according to the Geological Society of America.” The show discusses whether space aliens could conceivably live comfortably under the ocean with the resources available, and the question seems to move toward the science fiction Undersea Kingdom idea. Childress suggests that aliens “prefer” the ocean and may be fish. So how does this comport with the idea of aliens that walk the Earth, build Puma Punku, dictate scriptures, and ravish human women? The show chooses not to say, but it’s testament to the show’s laziness that it ignores well-known ancient stories about amphibious culture heroes like the fish-man Oannes that might have supported their point. (One does appear in the sixth segment, though only as a visual.) You can’t really argue that they omitted them because they didn’t want to repeat themselves since nothing in this hour is new anyway.
The final segment takes us to Minnesota to discuss a patent for technology that would help humans breathe underwater with a highly oxygenated liquid. The show suggests that this will help humans visit the oceans and commune with what Childress calls “advanced civilizations” that “have come here from other solar systems” and “are now living underwater.” William Henry tells us that fish-men will rise from the sea and tell humans that they can transform themselves into fish-people and “dive down through black abysses to Cyclopean and many-columned Y’ha-nthlei, and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory for ever.” No, wait, that was “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” Oh, well. There isn’t really a difference anyway, except that Lovecraft thought it horrifying and Ancient Aliens thinks it would be awesome.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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