A challenge has been launched in Plymouth to swap the swim leggings for fishtails and host the world’s largest gathering of mermaids and mermen ever held.
Set to take place on Thursday 2nd June 2022 during the Platinum Jubilee, the Mermaid Challenge is set to take place at Tinside Lido and aims to beat the existing Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of merfolk ever and champion the cause of cold weather swimming.
At present, the largest group of merfolk that has gathered together is 300, defined by Guinness as wearing a fishtail close-fitting costume skirt with a flare of material covering the feet, and only swimming shirts, bikini tops, clamshell bras and swim costume tops allowed for the upper part.
However, people can participate at the side of the pool and do not necessarily have to swim and indeed have noted that the attempt is a dry land event. The organisers also suggest buying the pieces of the costume from sustainable sources such as charity shops.
The determined organiser is Pauline Barker, an ice swimmer who became the first woman to ever complete 10 ice miles, defined as swimming in water colder than 5 degrees Celsius. She also started The Polar Bear Challenge to inspire people to take up winter swimming.
Tinside Lido, one of the oldest and longest-lasting outdoor swimming pools in the UK, was chosen for the event, and whilst the gathering is set to take place on dry land, Tinside Lido is a fascinating locale for cold-weather swimmers as it is one of the few unheated outdoor saltwater pools in the country.
The largest gathering of mermaids underwater took place in April 2021 in Sanya, China, made up of 110 people and was part of a show commemorating the third anniversary of Atlantis Sanya, a water park resort based on Hainan Island.