MerNetwork FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

What is the mermaiding community?

The mermaiding community for which this board exists is a groups of people of both genders from all over the world that are enthusiastic about mermaids and mermen, often with an interest in swimming in costumes to indulge in the fantasy. It represents a pretty obscure and eccentric hobby, so its emergence had depended largely on the growing accessibility of the internet.

Is swimming in a costume tail safe?

Only if proper safety guidelines are followed. Mermaiding can be very dangerous due to reduced mobility in a costume. Do not attempt if you are not a capable swimmer, and be sure to have other people around. Do not swim in dangerous conditions or bad weather.

How big is the community? How many people are there?

Gauging the size of the community is difficult, especially since there's no strict definition of what being in the community means. The number of people that own costume tails is one indicator, although there's no strict definition since some people want tails but don't have them and some people have tails but don't care about merpeople, like people who might make an Ariel costume as part of cosplaying Disney princesses. At any rate the community can be estimated to be in the hundreds or possibly thousands based on what definition you use. This is estimated based on online activity of the community, interest in the World Mermaid Awards, and estimated sales volume of professional tailmakers.

So do people actually swim in tails? How?

Yes. This is done by either making a costume or buying one. In order for the costume to be functional in water the fin must be made out of some kind of fin that is suitable for swimming, most often a commercial monofin.

Why do people dress up as merfolk?

People are attracted to swimming in costumes for many reasons, but basically they all boil down to wish fulfillment. Whether you fantasize about being some sort of legendary creature, or out of a love for the ocean and a desire to be a part of it, wearing a costume is a way to live out such fantasies.

Are all mermaids girls?

The community contains people of both genders, though strictly speaking the male equivalent of a mermaid is a merman (see Wikipedia). At any rate, while terms such as "mermaid community" and the verb "mermaiding" are commonly used, the community includes both men and women. Gender neutral terms such as "merfolk" and "mers" are often used in the community.

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