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Hannah Fraser, Fearless, Shark-Swimming Mermaid
In case you’ve recently been too busy getting Catfished to notice the buzz on social media, Shark Week is here, and that’s always awesome. But just because sharks are unbelievably awesome (when they’re not chewing your leg off), there are aquatic creatures that are infinitely more awesome, dangerously beautiful and badass–mermaids. This week, while the world collectively celebrates the big fish at the top of the oceanic food chain, we’re breaking through to recognize Mermaid Day, which we totally made up, to remind you about water goddess Hannah Fraser.

Like many little girls, Hannah Fraser was drawing mermaids back when she was a toddler, but remembers falling in love with the idea of actually being a human-fish hybrid when she saw the Daryl Hannah-led film Splash at nine years old and made her own mermaid tail to use as she practiced holding her breath and diving in her swimming pool. Now a gorgeous 36-year old, she’s made her own splash as a model, actress and environmental activist who uses her beauty and talent (in addition to having notable aquatic ability she studied illustration and photography at Melbourne School of Art & Photography in her native land of Australia) to draw attention to the cause of preserving marine wildlife. She also creates and sells mermaid tail outfits that obviously aren’t only for show–she credits the ones she makes for herself with helping her swim incredibly fast and smoothly when moving through the open ocean (important when there are sharks around). It also helps that she’s able to swim as deep as 45 feet while holding her breath for up to two minutes.

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Having swam with and drawn attention to causes benefiting the protection of whales, dolphins, manta rays, sea lions, turtles and other oceanborne beings, her most intense moment may have been in 2009, swimming without protection with 14-foot great white sharks in Mexico while filming. After a practice swim in scuba gear, she decided to go mermaid-natural and determined to leave a protective cage in order to get closer to the sharks. She says aside from one semi-close encounter, when a shark swam directly towards her from a distance, and she let forth an underwater scream that scared it away (and gave her a lingering feeling of invincibility for months, she says), it was just another day at sea with friends.




Being in the ocean is where I feel the most free and expressive. The ocean is the birthplace of life on Earth, and if I can be a visual link to inspire other humans who have become disconnected from this amazing world.

Well Hannah, you’ve definitely made our world much more amazing. We’ll take the liberty to speak for the rest of our readers by saying we understand why a shark would leave you alone. There probably aren’t many other beings that can be found in the sea as beautiful as you are, and losing you to a creature you’re trying to save would bite in more ways than one.