Freedom in fins: Northwest merfolk make magic with imaginative play

22 October 2023

An estimated 1,000 people in the United States are “professional mermaids” — that is, they don fishtails and fins and get paid to swim in tanks, pools and open water. These mermaids swim even in landlocked states like Arkansas, Arizona and Kansas. You can go to mermaid school in Iowa or Nevada or board a mermaid cruise ship in Florida. Mermaid tails are a bona-fide growth industry, generating $139 million in revenue in 2022. And Netflix recently produced a documentary series, “MerPeople.”

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