This town is full of mermaids and it’s glorious

The cold, hard truth is that mermaids aren’t real. However, that fact isn’t stopping one Florida town from putting on daily mermaid shows. Have you ever dreamed of becoming a mermaid for real? How do you feel about moving to a place called Weeki Wachee Springs?

Weeki Wachee is home to the Weeki Wachee Mermaids, who put on three shows daily for visitors from around the world. Psh, Ariel says that legs are required for jumping and dancing? Don’t tell that to these mermaids. They perform in an underground submerged theater, which is just like like an aquarium with a big window, and has seats for the audience. That way, the audience can sit back and enjoy the choreographed underwater show that lasts about 30 minutes.

And don’t worry, these mermaids can breathe. OK, so it’s not like they’ve sprouted gills, but there are breathing tubes located at the bottom of the theater, so they can get their needed oxygen without swimming to the surface. For anyone who wants to really live that dream of becoming a mermaid when they grow up, this is it.

This all started back in 1947 when former U.S. Navy sailor Newton Perry arrived in Weeki Wachee and saw potential in the area. Why not create a giant underwater theater and hire live mermaids to swim in it? He held casting calls for girls who wanted to swim, dance, and play underwater. The show’s still going strong almost 70 years later.

It is, though, a lot harder than it sounds to flip your fins and perform. The new mermaid recruits partner with veteran “mersisters” to teach them exactly how to work underwater. They’ve got to learn movements on land, and know how to dive and twirl. Oh, also that breathing thing, which is very important.

“There is a lot to think about,” Jordyn Belmonte, a brand new mermaid, told Mashable, “You are swimming with what feels like one leg instead of two, the air hoses are pretty hard to tackle at first, but the hardest struggle is looking comfortable while performing even if you’re cold or tired.” Mermaids, they’re just like us!

If this sounds like a dream come true, it is. The town of Weeki Wachee has about 28 mermaids, and only 4 permanent residents as of 2013. So there’s a geography fact for you, what US city has more mermaids than people? Weeki Wachee. It’s even got the nickname, “The Only City Of Live Mermaids.Even its mayor is a former mermaid!

While they aren’t currently holding auditions for new mermaids — because yes, I checked — you can go ahead and follow them on Facebook for the next mermaid casting call. So start gathering up your finds and conch shell tops,  and see you girls under the sea!

(Images via here.)