Purple Travel

[March 13 2015]

The Little Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs by Lucien Smith, Florida

In 1946 former Navy man Newton Perry constructed a 18 seat submerged theater six feet below the surface of the Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida. Just an hour out of Tampa, Weeki Wachee was named by the Seminole Indians meaning “little spring.” Everyday about 117 gallons of water emerges from the subterranean caves below.

Perry arranged Weeki Wachee’s first underwater synchronized ballet in 1947 using his new underwater breathing method involving air hoses supplying oxygen from air compressors. In 1959 ABC purchased the attraction and built the current theatre, which sits 500 people. Today Weeki Wachee is now a Florida state park making it the only attraction of its kind in the world.

Text and photo Lucien Smith


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