photo: projeto_sereias via Instagram

Suddenly they’re viral, all over the internet and especially Instagram. These majestic sea creatures were rumored to exist for centuries, but thought by modern science to be a myth. Yet here they are, caught in images of rippling water and golden sunlight.

Mer-moms. Yep, photos of pregnant women dressed as mermaids has become a thing, and a gorgeous thing it is!

The best known photographer for these fishy pictures is Brazilian Ulysses Padilha, who says it’s all about pairing the beauty of women with the mystery of mermaids. He keeps a stash of 20 mermaid tails on hand, as well as a collection of mini fins for his special before-and-after birth package that includes two photo shoots—one featuring a pregnant mom in her tail, and another following the birth that includes the baby.

Padilha’s shoots have become so popular that he started The Sereias (Mermaid) Project to raise awareness about environmental preservation and donate five percent of the proceeds to raise awareness on beach pollution in his home country.

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out the amazing pictures below, and you might want slip on a tail and call yourself Ariel.

photo: projeto_sereias via Instagram

photo: projeto_sereias via Instagram

photo: thatpricelesslifephotography via Instagram

photo: poeray via Instagram

photo: projeto_sereias via Instagram

photo: projeto_sereias via Instagram

photo: projeto_sereias via Instagram

What do you think of this latest mermaid craze? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.