Surveying professional mermaids is a thing

This is not the paper I expected to be reading today: Mermaid health — identifying health issues related to mermaiding by Matthieu J. Guitton in the journal, International Maritime Health. Okay. So, I guess we've gotten to the point where enough people around the world are swimming in "monofins" that science has finally taken notice and is taking on the role of fish-marm in order to warn us of the inherent dangers of "mermaiding."

Epic quote alert: "This study surveyed professional mermaids cumulating an estimated total of 19,147 h of in-water mermaiding."

  1. Professional mermaids. These ain't your granddad's amateur mermaids--these motherfishers get paid!
  2. 19,147 hours. That's a fairly exact estimation. That's how you know that the science is credible. If he'd said "approximately 19,150 hours," there's no way we'd be able to take this paper seriously. 
  3. In-water mermaiding. Just in case you said to yourself, Surely, the 19,147 hours of professional mermaiding includes land-based mermaid training? Nope! Although, Table 2 shows that mermaids do spend about 3% of their time at "dry gigs" (which would technically make them terra-maids).

So, what is the greatest health issue for professional mermaids (other than losing your voice to a squidwitch whilst transitioning to human)? Ear infection.

Also, 25% of the surveyed pro-maids (my term) reported an issue of "compromised access to air."

...

"What's the hardest part of being a professional mermaid?"

"I often find myself having compromised access to air."

"You should do more dry gigs."