I wonder what the fish think.
You can imagine them darting among the coral, minding their own business, only to suddenly swim up on costumed mermaids and musicians playing instruments under the waves.
This wacky scenario will become a reality at the 2013 Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary about six miles south of Big Pine Key.
The annual festival typically draws several hundred divers and snorkelers to enjoy the sound of music in the ocean realm. During the festival, music broadcast by the Keys radio station WWUS 104.1 FM radio station is piped underwater via speakers suspended beneath boats positioned above the reef.
Though the fish might be a little shell-shocked at first, at least the music should suit them. The playlist ranges from humpback whale recordings to sea songs such as the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" and the theme from Disney's "The Little Mermaid."
The theme for this year’s event is "Salute to the Rolling Stone Crabs," an offbeat tribute to the Rolling Stones. Costumed divers portraying band members "Mick Jawfish," "Keith Pilchard" and their cohorts will perform takeoffs of Stones hits like "Jumping Jack Fish."
Besides being a boatload of fun, the concert promotes the serious cause of preserving the Keys' unique coral reef ecosystem. The broadcast incorporates diver awareness announcements emphasizing ways to enjoy the reef while minimizing environmental impacts.
Divers and snorkelers interested in participating can reserve space on boats run by Lower Keys dive operators or launch their own boats from public ramps and marinas in the area.
If you dive or snorkel, you should go. Because if hearing "HonkyConch Woman" underwater doesn’t tickle your fins, nothing will!