While the aspiring mermen always had a love for the sea, they didn’t fully embrace the characters until adult life.
Marino said: “It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I learned about the possibilities of becoming a real-life mermaid (or merman per-say), and immediately started planning my mermaid journey.”
To kick-start is mythological transformation, the American man purchased a realistic tail.
These silicon accessories don’t come cheap, retailing for hundreds of pounds.
They are also a little tricky to manoeuvre until you get used to them.
Marino confessed: “There are the basics of things that you would want to invest in to start your mermaid journey, a mermaid tail being the single most important!
“Tails can range from the simple (yet effective) fabric tails made from stretch fabric, to the extravagant, top-of-the-line tails made from dragonskin silicone…
“For beginners, a simple stretch fabric tail is enough to feel the mermaid fantasy for yourself and decide if you are ready to invest in something more professional.
“Also to note, silicone tails can be heavy, up to 40 or even 50lbs, so these are only recommended for a much practiced mermaid.”
Chris agrees that working with tails is one of the most difficult things about being a professional merman.
He added: “You need to be athletic.
“The tails I’m working with weigh up to 50lbs when wet.
“You need to be a good swimmer and have to learn breath-holding techniques.
“You need to built general strength in your upper body and lower back to be able to swim gracefully…
“Also looking nice under water is not always easy.
“Water can be pretty cold, very salty or chlorine will hurt the eyes.
“After some time in a heavy silicone tail the feet begin to hurt like crazy because the ankles are stretched in an unnatural position all the time. But it is worth it.”
Thankfully, the duo have been able to master the merman moves with a lot of practice.
They now enjoy splashing around in the sea, where they often interact with marine life.
Chris said: “My favourite place to swim is the Florida Springs – nice water temperature, crystal water and beautiful fish.”
Similarly, Merman Marino enjoys paddling in picturesque settings.
He revealed: “My favourite places to swim are those that are outdoors and in natural habitats, such as rivers and streams.
“They’re places that allow me to experience fish and other creatures in their natural state.”
Even though Marino and Chris pursue a quirky hobby, they are supported by their loved ones.
The mermen also make strangers smile – and many can’t resist approaching them for photos.
Chris said: “My parents and family have pictures in their houses where I’m wearing a tail.
“My friends think it’s the coolest thing ever and I’m always an attraction at pool parties.
“Before I started (being judged) was my biggest concern but it never happened to me.
“I was pretty nervous at my first public photoshoot where I sat on a rock at a public beach.
“In between shoots people of all age came to talk to me and take pics with me.
“They said they love the idea of seeing a merman other than always seeing half fish girls everywhere.”
Marino added: “There will always be those who judge you for being different they they are.
“However, I have never had any negative comments to my face about being a mermaid.
“I have had some co-workers, and a few friends ask me questions like ‘Why I do this?’ and ‘What do I do in my tail?’
“The answer is always simple: Being a mermaid brings me much joy!”
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