The Weeki Wachee Mermaids Music Video
Save Our Tails
Most people who live in Florida are aware of our mermaids. But those of you out of our state have probably never experienced them.
Weeki Wachee is a unique town. It has beautiful, crystal clear springs that are nice and cool (72 degrees) even in Florida's muggy 90+ degree heat during the summers. The spring is so deep that the opening has never been found.
You can spend an afternoon tubing (unless you have a short attention span like *I* do) or play in a small waterpark, or get a boat and idle down the river. If you like cave diving, this is the place to do it. The underwater views are breathtaking.
But best of all, Weeki Wachee has mermaids.
In the late 1940s, an ex-Navy Seal discovered the springs at Weeki Wachee. He decided to build an attraction there. He recruited beautiful girls and trained them to wear costumes and breathe underwater, performing water ballet and other tricks. They could (and can) eat and drink underwater while juggling an airhose, and do it gracefully. They represent all the magic that we long so desperately for.
From the time I was a very little girl, I was enchanted by the mermaids. I used to beg my family to drive me to Weeki Wachee to see them. We sat in an old, dark theater with cement floors and thick, heavy floor-to-ceiling curtains. Someone would come out and speak about the mermaids and I would shift about restlessly, waiting for them to shut up and step away so the curtains could go up and the magic be revealed.
The theater would go dark, the curtains would part, and there in front of the audience was a panoramic underwater view of a massive natural area with steep walls of rock dappled with light. In the center of our view were the beautiful mermaids with glittering tails and smiles, waving to us before they began the show. I would be so excited, I would get teary.
I was very impressed with the one who could eat the banana underwater. Looking back, I assume many of the men were, too. I also adored how they could do complete head-over-heels loops so gracefully and I practiced it many times at home, until I could also do it.
Years later, I took a group of us up to Weeki Wachee and we again experienced the mermaids. Now they no longer perform tricks and ballet. Instead, they perform plays, using balletic movements. It is still as enchanting, and more sophisticated than it had to be for an audience of the 1970s.
However, Weeki Wachee is a town that is away from the mainstream. It's not near Orlando, Tampa, or Miami (the main cities) and therefore it doesn't have a large support group. Recently, it was announced that they might have to close. Public outcry was immediate. Those of us who grew up with the mermaids were shocked to realize that this tradition might not continue.
So a group was formed to 'Save Our Tails'. Until now, this was only important to Floridians. But a group called Supergrass discovered the mermaids, and produced a video for and about them. The music is great and the footage is fascinating. Click on the link above to see it. And, if you can, donate a little something to our mermaids or write to them and ask how you can help. And while you're at it, check out the roster of their beautiful mermaids.
P.S. I just discovered that Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid was filmed there. My mom loves this movie. I wonder if she knows?