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19 Images Show How Magical Merfolk Really Are

Proof that there is still good in this world.

Posted on July 24, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. ET

Monique Jaques

Merfolk at the California Mermaid Convention admiring each other’s tails while other mermaids read and interact with children.

The merfolk community wanted more. Their annual gathering, which has been held on the promenade in Sacramento for the past five years, wasn’t enough anymore, so Rachel Smith and Ashley Rastad, both mermaids at the Dive Bar, decided to expand into a full convention. And so we now have the California Mermaid Con, a three-day event where mermaids and mermen (and regular people, too!) can mingle and learn and model and admire each other’s costumes.

Events included photo sessions with professional photographers, merfolk yoga — because this is California — a bubble ball, and a river cleanup to highlight conservation efforts by the American River Parkway Foundation.

The attendees were “unbelievably warm and friendly,” according to photographer Monique Jaques, who covered the event for BuzzFeed News. “The participants were so happy to be there and be amongst other mermaids, it was amazing to watch.”

Most impressive to Jaques was their commitment to inclusivity and their ability to stay in character. “I think it’s actually rather ungraceful, the transition from land to sea, but I never saw any of the professional mermaids who were having sessions in the children’s pool put their tails on. It would be uncouth to see a mermaid without a tail if you are a child.”

Monique Jaques

Merfolk at the fifth annual promenade in downtown Sacramento.

Monique Jaques

A mermaid brings her fabric tail to the pool. Tails are made out of fabric and silicone. A silicone tail can cost $1,500 to $3,000.

Monique Jaques

Merfolk essentials: sunscreen, goggles, underwater camera, lube.

Monique Jaques

Merfolk at the fifth annual promenade in downtown Sacramento.

Monique Jaques

Mermaid Krista reads a book about ocean conservation and keeping bodies of water clean for all life-forms, not just mermaids.

Monique Jaques

Merfolk participate in the Open Swim, where community members admire each other’s tails and celebrate each other.

Monique Jaques

Mermaid Krista is wheeled to the children’s pool. It’s impossible to walk on land while wearing a silicone tail. Some mermaids have help from friends or “mer-wranglers” — men who carry the women while they’re wearing tails.

Monique Jaques

Transitioning from land to sea isn’t easy. Merfolk use a range of lubricants, from coconut oil to water-based Astroglide, to get into their tails.

Monique Jaques

Fabric tails dry in the sun.

Monique Jaques

Mermaid Raina is carried to the pool by her husband, Sean, who originated the term “mermaid wrangler” for men who assist their mer-partners.

Monique Jaques

Opening night of the California Mermaid Convention at Dive Bar in downtown Sacramento. The bar has featured mermaid and mermen performers for decades.

Monique Jaques

Mermaid Alisa performs at Dive Bar as other merfolk watch.

Monique Jaques

Merfolk watch performers at Dive Bar.

Monique Jaques

Merfolk at the Bubble Ball, a party to celebrate the day and community.

Monique Jaques

Aquaman takes a timeout during the Bubble Ball.

Monique Jaques

Contestants in a crown competition wait to hear the results.

Monique Jaques

Merfolk at the Bubble Ball, a party to celebrate the day and community.

Monique Jaques

Even mermaids gotta eat.

UPDATE


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