Folk tales, Disney movies and more have spurred on a movement known as Merfest. Founded in 1988, photographer Arthur Drooker traveled to North Carolina to document the avid mermaids and mermen that show up to Merfest. It takes place at the triangle Aquatic Center in Cary and invites people from all corners of the country.
Full of vibrant colors and magical fins, the Merfest is a place for like-minded individuals to come together in a beautiful and fantastical way. Drooker says, "A mermaid embodied an idealized self: beautiful, graceful and confident. To emulate a mermaid one developed a mersona, akin to the fursona that a furry at Anthrocon inhabits to model an animal character s/he aspires to be like." Merfest celebrates a different type of being.