Strange Photos of Life as a Professional Mermaid

What is it about little girls and mermaids? From Daryl Hannah’s screechy blonde bombshell in Splash to the fiery-haired (and tempered) Ariel in The Little Mermaid to Cher in her bedazzled costume in Mermaids, this writer can remember thinking that her life would have been so much better — or at least a lot more exciting — if only she’d been born with a tail. The Underwater Mermaid, a series by London-born, Brooklyn-based photographer Annie Collinge, has me questioning this line of thought.

Shot at Florida’s Underwater Mermaid Theater, one of the state’s oldest attractions, these photos are far from the glamorous images routinely served up by pop culture. Instead, they have a faded, decidedly kitschy, beauty to them, which makes perfect sense given the fact that this surreal, underwater show, the brainchild of a US Navy Seals trainer, has been staged since the late ’40s. Click through now to discover a rare piece of Americana: the mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs.

Photo credit: Annie Collinge. Spotted via Feature Shoot