It’s tough to be a fish out of water, even one as lovely as Leelu. She is part of mermaid pod who travels the world visiting aquariums and sharing information about human impact on our ecology.
Although they are educational mermaids, I find them absolutely delightful. These women (and a handful of men) took their childhood fantasies and have made careers out of them. They train in swimming, snorkeling and scuba in their off-season—and do it all while wearing gorgeous, glorious costume tails, which are handmade and custom-fitted just for them.
Just as I cannot shake the belief that on December 24, in the middle of the night, lights at the North Pole glow from Santa’s workshop, I cannot shake the belief that these merfolk are the real deal. I’ve seen the documentary on their costume production. I’ve seen the photos on Instagram of them standing on two feet.
And yet, I don’t care. Lelu needs an assistant to get from her throne to her pod in the ocean, because she is a mermaid.
Maybe someday I’ll become one, too.
(For amazing photography of mermaids in the wild, check out @wwmermaids, @devonKphotographer and @mermaidleelu on Instagram.)