Scientists do a lot of important work.
But for an 8-year-old from Arvada, the most important thing they did this month was tell her to keep on imagining.
Here's how it all went down:
Catherine, a skeptic believer of mermaids, came home from school one day after a discussion with her friends about if the half-human, half-fish creatures actually exist.
Problem-solving dad Eric took to the internet to track down the local authority on all things aquatic -- the Department of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences at University of Colorado.
The father-daughter duo drafted a letter asking the tough questions and sent it over to CU.
"Honestly, I figured somebody might get a chuckle out of it," Eric told 9NEWS.
Not the case.
The department, specifically Dr. Cora Randall, responded to Catherine like the fellow tiny scientist she is.
"Your question about mermaids in an excellent one," the letter started, which was printed on official CU letterhead. "I'm glad you decided to ask our department for the answer."
The letter continued on to tell Catherine that despite what she's seen on TV and movies, mermaids aren't the real deal.
That answer in itself could have been enough, but Randall continued on.
"Even though there's no evidence that mermaids are real, I hope you'll continue to imagine what could be," Randall wrote. "Keep asking questions and trying to understand whether something is true. By being creative and curious, and looking for scientific explanations, you'll discover how truly amazing our world is."
Cue the slow clap and happy tears.
"[I] was blown away by the very kind and thoughtful response from Dr. Randall," Eric said.
We think Catherine will remember this for a long time.
Stay curious, little one!