April 26, 2012
The Real-Life Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs

If you want to see what mermaids look like in real life, you’d better head for Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida. Considered to be one of the oldest and most unique road side attractions of the state, the 430-acre theme park has been entertaining people for the past 60 years. People from all over the US visit Weeki Wachee, located an hour north of Tampa, to view its most unique attraction – the beautiful women dressed like mermaids, swimming in the cool and clear spring waters.

Becoming a Weeki Wachee mermaid is no easy task, on the contrary, it’s something that even the most experienced swimmers would find hard to do. The job involves spending almost the entire day under water, at a temperature ranging in the lower 70s. This is difficult, because the ideal water temperature for adults is much higher, between 85 and 89 degrees. Putting on 30 to 45 minute performances, three times a day, seven days a week is certainly no easy task. To add to this, the ladies have to wear tight, 15-pound mermaid tails that zip up the side and bind their legs together. It sure does look beautiful, but it’s pretty hard to swim about as though you have only one leg. Throw in a synchronized choreography routine and underwater lip-synching while trying to breathe through a hidden rubber hose and you’ve got some real heroes here. With all these factors in play, the mermaids manage to swim gracefully, with pretty hand movements and smiling faces. They sure must be highly talented actors to hide all that discomfort.

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