On March 5, 1954, Universal International Pictures released Creature from the Black Lagoon.
The creature emerges from Wakulla Springs, ca. 1953
The film’s plot centered around an Amazonian expedition gone awry when a scientific team encountered the mysterious “Gill Man.” The creature became enamored with a member of the team, played by Julie Adams, and kidnapped her after escaping from the scientists’ grasp.
Film crew with 3-D camera at Wakulla Springs, October 18, 1953
The filmmakers visited Wakulla Springs, south of Tallahassee, while scouting locations for the film. They were introduced to a young FSU student and part-time lifeguard at the springs named Ricou Browning. Director Jack Arnold eventually cast Browning to play the part of the creature during underwater scenes. Browning parlayed this experience into a subsequent career in film and television.
Ricou Browning becoming the creature, Wakulla Springs, ca. 1953
The filmmakers used Florida’s natural beauty again as a backdrop while filming the sequel, Revenge of the Creature (1955). Revenge featured footage shot at Silver Springs, Marineland, and along the St. Johns River. Scenes from the third and final installment in the series, The Creature Walks Among Us (1956), were also filmed in the Sunshine State.
Ginger Stanley in the grip of the creature, Silver Springs, ca. 1955
“Wakulla Springs Boat Tours Podcast”
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Tour boat guide Wilbert Gavin: Wakulla Springs, Florida
Alligators, snakes, rare birds and Native exoticism are all pinnacles of Florida’s tourism industry. Wakulla Springs State Park offers visitors the chance to experience all of these things and more under the guidance of clever and knowledgeable guides. In this month’s podcast we’ll examine the oral traditions of the Wakulla Springs boat drivers.
Sandgren family enjoys a glass bottom boats: Wakulla Springs, Florida (1946)
Glass-bottom boat tours are certainly not exclusive to Wakulla Springs. They have been a long-standing attraction in Silver Springs, Homosassa Springs and Rainbow Springs, among others. Boat tours in Wakulla Springs date back to the late 1800s. Right up through recent history, descendents of the first boatmen of the Springs have followed in the footsteps of their forefathers, and their chants, jokes and stories have been passed down through the generations.
Henry the pole-vaulting fish at Wakulla Springs: Wakulla Springs, Florida
Now keep your hands and arms inside the boat, and enjoy the mysterious waters of Wakulla Springs!
Found a great underwater photo that we missed? Post a link in the comments!