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Brazil's Standardization Institute Warns Against Mermaiding and Annoys Practitioners

02/01/2018 - 10h17

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KLEBER NUNES
FROM SÃO PAULO

This summer the long tails of Triton (a mythological Greek god of the sea) or mermaids have become the target of much controversy as well as of Inmetro, Brazil's National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality.

The agency is leading a campaign across the country to warn of the potential dangers involving the accessory, which could lead to death, especially among children and teenagers.

Practitioners of mermaiding - swimming with long mermaid tails - are accusing Inmetro of disclosing "lies" about the accessory and beginning a process that could lead to banning the hobby among amateurs as well as those who make a living of the mermaid and Triton tails, which has occurred for at least ten years in the country.

The agency is mainly worried about the edge of the tail, where the monofin is located. It is similar to a fish tail and keeps the swimmer's legs together making him undulate in the water to swim.

The agency says that more than half of the deaths by drowning in swimming pools in the country are among children between the ages of one and nine. This type of accident is also the third most common cause of death among boys and girls between ten and fourteen years old.

In a video on Youtube a girl wearing a mermaid tail nearly drowns as she stands upside down in a plastic swimming pool. The video was recorded in 2015 and already has more than 270,000 views - at the end she is saved by her mother.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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