While conch shell (and boob) enthusiasts find the top half of the mermaid most alluring, we think it's the bottom of these mythical half-ladies that makes them so special. So we were surprised by how much we enjoyed Michael Dweck's new book "Mermaids," considering his subjects are not actually fish-tailed.

Dweck, who has shot for Playboy, Vogue and Esquire, was visiting Weekie Wachie Spring, Florida, when he met the "waterbabies" of a local fishing village, so named for their ability to hold their breath underwater for five to six minutes. Shooting them inspired the underwater nudes collected in "Mermaids," showing through September 6 at the Staley-Wise Gallery in New York.

Check out some of these beautiful photographs below and forget all about that redheaded tramp Ariel.


Michael Dwecks Mermaids

    Michael Dweck's "Mermaids"

    Michael Dweck's "Mermaids"

    Michael Dweck's "Mermaids"

    Michael Dweck's "Mermaids"

    Michael Dweck's "Mermaids"

    Michael Dweck's "Mermaids"

    Michael Dweck's "Mermaids"

    Michael Dweck's "Mermaids"

    Michael Dweck's "Mermaids"

    Michael Dweck's "Mermaids"