Mermaids ARE REAL!!!

Don’t believe in mermaids? Well, they’re real, and you can see them at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Central Florida. This is not your usual, run-of-the-mill state park.

This tiny theme park is host to one of the longest running (founded in the late 1940s) and consistently interesting (on many “things to see before you die” lists) attractions in the southern US – the famous Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid show.

In 1947, Newton Perry, a former Navy frogman devised an underwater breathing technique using compressed air which he dubbed “air hose breathing”, built a custom submerged auditorium and began developing an amazing underwater play featuring some of the region’s most beautiful women. Its draw is unmistakable and has drawn hundreds of celebrities and dignitaries to its shores.

On the day we visited, Weeki Wachee featured three mermaid shows (11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.)

We arrived shortly after lunch and caught the “introductory” 1:30 show called Fish Tales. The show begins with a curtain covering the auditorium’s windows, and following a music video made by the English Rock Band (Supergrass). A live announcer then gives a brief historic overview and introduces the show.

The curtain rises and the mermaids swim from below, and begin to show us the ins and outs of being an underwater performer. The announcer explains their specially designed outfits and the key movements required for the precise choreography. A deep breath from the air hose makes them float higher while letting that breath out sinks them towards the bottom, and, when they have just enough air in their body, they will remain in their current position.

The 25-minute show featured a few pop songs, a couple mermaids outfit changes and a bit of patriotism (though we;re not sure mermaids are necessarily US patriots.)

After the show, we watched a reptile show – featuring a snake, turtles and small alligator. The trainer was very patient with the small kids in the audience and answered all of their questions, and even confirmed a few of their hilariously adorable comments. (imagine the kid from Jerry Maguire – “Did you know beeths sthmell fear.”)

We then watched the 3 p.m. “The Little Mermaid” show. This show was very well produced with the actors dancing in unison and playing out the well-known Hans Christian Andersen story. And, our final treat was a short boat ride down the natural spring river that travels down to the Gulf of Mexico.

For only $13 per person, it was quite an experience. But during the summer season, there are a handful of water slides which would make the price an absolute steal.

Check out the pictures below, and for more information click here.