Watch Florida’s professional mermaids swim in Rainbow River State Park

The interest in Florida’s community of merpeople has been bolstered by movies, shows and docu-series.
Published June 17, 2023

DUNNELLON — In the crystal clear waters of Rainbow Springs State Park, a scaly purple tail glides past. There’s a flash of red, then green. A pod of merpeople, men and women donning custom silicone and fabric mermaid tails, swim across the spring in a coordinated pattern.

Professional merman Andrew Corter directed the video shoot featuring a variety of other TikTok-famous “mersonas:” Michelle Colson, Haley Smith, Felicia Flaherty, Coral Dover and Eric “The Mertailor” Ducharme. Most of this pod recently appeared in Netflix’s new docu-series, “MerPeople.”

“Social media has really changed the game for professional mermaids,” said Corter. “They don’t ask you for headshots or resumes. They ask how many followers you have before they even consider booking you.”

The Tampa Bay Times spent the day with the professional merpeople to film a day in the life of the “finfluencers.”