Florida may be the country's capital of weird, but a real live "hot wet mermaid" can still raise eyebrows.
Meet Palm Beach County's Trina Mason, a self-described actress-comic book hero-mermaid-model-wrestler-aquaphile proving Sunshine State Ariels aren't confined to kitschy shows at Weeki Wachee Springs.
But though Mason confesses to being an aquaphile -- a term generally used for swimming and water-based sexual fetishes -- her take is a bit more chaste than that of fans who call up asking her to wear sweaters and stockings in the water.
"Some people get off on the breath holds, but for me aquaphilia is something different," she told Broward Palm Beach New Times. "I just feel comfortable being underwater and I sort of like the artistic view of it. I just feel really comfortable underwater."
Not, mind you, that Mason shies away from sexy side of being a mermaid: the 20-year-old is currently in the running to be Playboy's Miss Social (NSFW), an online competition fueled by fan votes from Facebook and Twitter.
Her typical Monday, Mason told Playboy, is "being a mermaid, practicing my breath holds, working out, collecting shells, taking hot bubble baths, making art, and doing photoshoots."
It also might involve making elaborate shell bras, or attending Merpalooza (take that, NOAA!). But Mason isn't the only Florida lady hot-gluing mollusks and caring for her own fancy tail. Weeki Wachee has been offering its famous mermaid shows since the 1940s, and the Florida Aquarium in Tampa now employees three mermaids who perform for guests in shiny bustiers.