The Random Writings of Rachel: Are Mermaids Real?

Are Mermaids Real?

At Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, the answer is, surprisingly, YES!







As unlikely as it sounds, this is a real place.

Here's the story. We're in Florida, happily escaping from cold winter weather, and my mom says, "When I was 6 years old, my family came to Florida and went to this place that was called Weeki Wachee and they had a live mermaid show."

For the most part, our response was composed of skeptical sideways glances, but my mom kept insisting that this was a real memory, that she had not invented Weeki Wachee out of the depths of her imagination. Finally, I took to Google and managed to find the website. What do you know? She was right!

None of us were entirely convinced that Weeki Wachee Springs State Park was a real, active, operating park with daily shows until we were actually there. We saw no billboards or advertisements for it as we were driving toward the area, and the park itself looks rather shabby and abandoned.

However, we discovered that the park was entirely real, and delivers exactly what it promises: mermaid shows, a riverboat ride, and a reptile show. And in my whole life I've never seen anything quite like the mermaid show at Weeki Wachee.

The theater itself is submerged underwater, and the mermaids/talented divers perform in a natural spring, with fish and turtles swimming around them. This park has been in existence and these mermaid performances have been going on for over 60 years now. The performers breathe through air tubes that they carry with them--but besides that slight concession to the human need to breathe, their ability to swim, dive, lip-sync, and perform at a depth of more than 10 feet under water is quite impressive.

As someone who loves performance but doesn't even put her head underwater when swimming, I was definitely impressed by thought of having a career that involved performances carried out entirely underwater.

The riverboat ride was very fun, and local wildlife seem quite abundant: we saw manatee, blue herons, eagles, and countless fish and turtles. It appears that Weeki Wachee isn't the kind of place that someone who had never been in the area would even know exists unless you read this blog post, but I assure you, it's real. And I doubt there's anything like it in the rest of the world. The mermaids do make it into a couple clips in Kelly Clarkson's Stronger music video, so there's another one of their claims to fame.

Have you ever stumbled across a mermaid show?

p.s. Sarah whispered to Dad during the mermaid show that she was pretty sure that the mermaids weren't real because she noticed them breathing from the tubes. Although, later in the day, she came up with an explanation that maybe they were real mermaids, but wanted us to think that they were humans pretending to be mermaids, so they just used the air tubes to mask their real identity.

p.p.s. This goes so perfectly with Ech's Travel Tuesday theme of "Not So Famous Favorites" that I had to link up!

42 comments:

  1. Wow, they really have found a gap in the market! How cool must that be, to have "mermaid" as a job description??

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  2. My daughter would LOVE to see the mermaids.

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  3. Oh that place sounds magical! I'm gonna have to beg the husband to take me if we are ever in Florida. I just love marine life anyway and the fact that they have been doing mermaid shows for 60 years and stayed hidden from public eye? That's so cool!

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  4. Your p.s made me smile, I suppose your sister is right, they are real but pretending to be human who pretend to be.........you lost me here ;-) .................thx for sharing those wonderful photos.

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  5. that's amazing. if I'm ever in Tampa again with nothing to do, maybe I'll take the kids there. lol.

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  6. I've heard that there's something like that in Texas too, but have no idea where! What a cool experience!

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  7. That is so cool! I've never even heard of this, but I may be going to Florida for a class reunion soon, so I might check it out. I would love to take Little J with me. She is currently obsessed with all things Mermaid. Thanks Disney!

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  8. Now that I would totally go and see!! How neat! I would love to see that at 28, never mind little kids and especially little girls that just happened to see The Little Mermaid.. Their eyes would be giant with aw and excitement. I love those kinds of parks- keeping a kid's imagination wild and untamed for sixty years. Gotta love it. Your poor mom.. she was probably like HA! SEE... I'm not crazy, ya little brats!

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  9. That is interesting and unique. I need to check this out the next time we go. Seems surreal.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  10. I have never heard of this place, but you can bet that I'm making a pit stop on my next Florida vacation!

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  11. That is really cool and water doesn't really scare me but I would FREAK THE HECK OUT having my legs bound up like that.

    That said, Florida sounds awesome.

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  12. This makes me so happy. I love that this place is like a "best kept secret." We're planning a Florida vacation soon, maybe we'll have to check it out.

    And, also, I'm jealous of all that warm weather.

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  13. Ok, new goal in life, become a mermaid! (Or just go see this performance!)

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  14. That is seriously awesome! I want to go!!

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  15. That sounds like so much fun! I've never been to a mermaid show but now I want to :P Have fun in FL Rachel! -Iva

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  16. I think I saw this on a TV show once... someone was trying to break into the mermaid business. It sounds and looks so familiar!

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  17. In all fairness, Weeki Wachee sounds like a fictitious place! But how cool! And I love Sarah's explanation for the breathing tubes. Maybe she's on to something...

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  18. A mermaid show?! Oh man, I can't even wrap my head around this amazingness. Looks like I have a 'to do' added to my list next time I visit Florida. Way. too. cool.

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  19. I didn't even know mermaid shows existed! That's definitely something I need to add to my bucket list.

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  20. GAH...the things I learn when I visit your blog! A friend of mine has mermaid tails. She does a lot of mermaid swimming..even takes her tail to Maui. As I type this, I realize how crazy it sounds. But, she is a beautiful mermaid swimmer, and she teaches young kids here in Vancouver mermaid swimming.

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  21. I have a friend that lives in Cali and she goes to this restaurant where they have mermaids in tanks. Like, men and women who are being mermaids in the tanks. How nuts is that?

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  22. Oh my gosh!! At first, I thought those pictures were of you and your sister as the mermaids...I was gonna say "Wow Rachel, you are a woman of many talents!!" :)

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  23. I adore weeki wachee springs! One of my favorite places I've visited. Glad you had fun!

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  24. Hahahah this is right by me and it's really funny to see all the comments about it. I guess it never occured to me that it's not a huge tourist place but everyone in the surrounding area (few hours either direction) know all about it, and like everyone has been there on a field trip haha. And it's a state park so lots of people go there for different reasons.To boat at the springs, etc. I'm glad you went and had such a great time, I love it there.

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  25. What a perfect little gem of a park! I love magical little-known places like this. Now someday you can tell your kids about your memories of it and have them not believe you haha.

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  26. Oh wow, that sounds like such a unique show to see! What an interesting idea! :)

    Away From Blue

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  27. This is awesome!! I would love to see a live mermaid show!

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  28. I'm looking up Weeki Wachee right now and it's only 2.5 hours from my husband's hometown. Maybe we can take our niece to see the mermaids! That would be fun!

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  29. Oh man...I want to go to Weeki Wachee but unfortunately I didn't find out this place even existed until a week or so after we got back home to MI from our FL vacation! Ah well....next time! But, was it amazing?!?

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  30. I've heard of that place! I had no idea what it was called or where it was though. hahha

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  31. I read an article on this place awhile ago, and it sounds awesome. However, the picture of that girl with her legs wrapped up is seriously giving me anxiety. I am WAY too claustrophobic for that!

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  32. Real mermaids! Yes how awesome! x

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  33. No, I have never seen or heard of a mermaid show, but being in Florida, I will have to hunt it down! Thanks for sharing and linking up with Countdown in Style! Don't forget to come back on Friday to see if you were featured!

    ~~April~~
    100lbCountdown.com

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  34. Ohhh, mermaids are real and very pretty too!! Hehehe. I love the photos! And I would love to have this experience in the future too! :)

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  35. i've been told that real genuine mermaids have been spotted in the philippines.

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  36. Actually, from doing research, I know that mermaids come from sirens which are real. The mermaid is just a happy, nicer persona that kid-friendly places and businesses came up with. Disney is pretty good for doing that: changing something that is real and most of the times evil into something shiny and happy for the kids lol. I think after finding out about sirens it's a little hard for me to even want to watch The Little Mermaid and I used to love that as a child . Thanks for sharing that with us at Countdown in Style! Don't forget to stop by Friday to see if you are featured! xo

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  37. Lol!!! Being from Florida I can say that yes, this place is real!! Fun story! Thanks for linking up with the weekend block party!

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