[artist id="1236911"]Beyoncé[/artist] declared her love for mermaids during her MTV special "The Year of 4," while Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Bette Midler have all dressed up like the mythical sea creatures onstage or in videos. Madonna has surrounded herself with mermen during a past tour, and mermaids also show up in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and in several new novels, including a forthcoming book by "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer.
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Florida is famous for its mermaid shows, so MTV News decided to go right to the source and get a real-deal mermaid on the phone. It's no surprise that "mermaid" Carli Goodworth told us it's officially the Year of the Mermaid.
"It used to be really popular, like, 60 years ago and everybody was all about mermaids, and now today, it's coming back again," Goodworth told MTV News. "The stars are starting to use it, and the people from outside are loving it, and hopefully it'll draw more people to our attraction as well."
So why are pop stars taking on mermaid alter egos? Goodworth said the public persona of mermaids has shifted from the cute and cuddly Disney version to the more accurate version of mermaids who are mysterious, dangerous and sexy.
And the mermaid trend hasn't been free from controversy: There has already been beef between fans of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, accusing the pop stars of lifting the idea, and then between Lady Gaga and Bette Midler, who did the mermaid-in-a-wheelchair routine decades before Gaga did.
"It's becoming so popular," Goodworth laughed about the mermaid beefs. "I think it's awesome. We're used to the few people around here, because we are known as the mermaid country, and it's neat to see all these other people battling it out to be the only mermaid. It's just different."
Being that Goodworth has performed as a mermaid for quite some time now, she's happy to see other people getting excited about it. "We love mermaids, so it's fun to see other people doing stuff with mermaids besides us," she said, adding her advice: "Be creative, do your own thing, really do your research."
What do you think about the pop-culture mermaid trend? Let us know in the comments!