Weeki Wachee Springs

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Panoramic picture of Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida, April 2012

Weeki Wachee Springs is a natural tourist attraction located in Weeki Wachee, Florida, where underwater performances by "mermaids", women wearing fish tails as well as other fancy outfits, can be viewed in an aquarium-like setting in the spring of the Weeki Wachee River. A waterpark, Buccaneer Bay, and boat rides are also part of the attraction.

Origins[edit]

A fashion photograph taken at Weeki Wachee spring, by Toni Frissell, first published in Harper's Bazaar (December 1947)

The attraction was created in 1947 by stunt swimmer and attraction promoter Newt Perry, who based the show on underwater air hose breathing techniques.[1] Guests to the park have included Elvis Presley, Don Knotts, Esther Williams, Arthur Godfrey, Kevin Smith, and Larry the Cable Guy. Hollywood has occasionally used the attraction and its mermaids in the filming of movies such as Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948), Neptune's Daughter (1949), and many television shows. At one point, the attraction was owned by broadcast network ABC, and this led to an increase in publicity for the attraction. Currently the park is owned by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and is a member of the Florida State Park System.[2]

Recent events[edit]

Entrance to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

In 2005, English rock band Supergrass filmed their video for their song "Low C" at the Springs. They filmed a short documentary about the spring, as well as playing at a local bar and swimming with the mermaids.

In summer of 2006, stand up comedian Thomas J. Kelly became the park's first ever male mermaid. His adventures were chronicled in a Web television series.[3] called "The Little Merman".

On November 1, 2008, the state of Florida took over Weeki Wachee Springs as a state park.

From May 22 until August 30, 2007, the discharge level at Weeki Wachee spring dropped to a level that allowed for cave divers to gain effective entry into the cave system at the spring. The Karst Underwater Research team successfully executed exploration dives and the necessary in-water decompression to explore approximately 6,700 feet in multiple passages at an average depth of 265 Feet Fresh Water (ffw) with a maximum depth of 407 ffw. The 407 ffw depth makes the cave system under Weeki Wachee springs the deepest known fresh water cave system in the United States.

Scenes from Kelly Clarkson's video "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" include the mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ JAKOB SCHILLER. "Professional Mermaids Are Lost Treasure of Florida Park". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Weeki Wachee Springs State Park". Florida State Parks Information Center. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Littlemerman.com
  4. ^ "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" video

Further reading[edit]

  • Pelland, Maryan (2006). Weeki Wachee Springs. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-4247-8.  |first2= missing |last2= in Authors list (help)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°31′03″N 82°34′21″W / 28.51750°N 82.57250°W / 28.51750; -82.57250