Hello! Im honored to be here with so many amazing
Im taking you on a journey of turning Fantasy
into Reality - to serve the needs of our world.
is me, a year ago, weighted to the bottom of the ocean,
35 ft deep, holding my breath for minutes at a time,
dancing with Sharks.
Name is Hannah Fraser and I am a REAL Life Mermaid.
you look at me too funny, lets consider what the word
Mermaid actually means Maid means Servant and
Mer means of The Sea. If you prefer, you can call
me a Servant of the Sea.
I have a dream that we can create a world built upon
love, where all beings are valued, appreciated, and
live in harmony with each other. Some may call this
people think of fantasy as being kids stuff,
Id say- I want to be a mermaid when I grow up!
And the response was thats a nice fantasy..
but what do you want to do in reality?
like to share something with you.
VIDEO: (2.30 minutes)
Everything you saw in that video was 100% real, with
no special FX -
My journey has been a constant process of pushing
the limits of what I thought was possible.
I was younger, I had a vivid fantasy life, drawing
I was a shy and quiet child, and these images were
a way I could express my passion.
At nine years old I saw Splash and immediately
knew my dream was within reach and I began to create
my first tail. Made from tablecloths and pillow stuffing
it came closer to drowning me than turning me in to
a mermaid, but I kept trying.. I thought if I kept
on swimming I might even grow gills..
to say, that didnt happen and I did grow up.
Id been making a living as an artist putting
my passion for mermaids into paintings and drawings
but also modeling, when I got a great opportunity
to go to a casting for an underwater shoot. Now I'm
not model height , so when I arrived and was
surrounded by glamorous tall amazon women I thought
"no way" but you know what? None of them
could hold their breathe underwater - but after all
my practice as a kid- I got the job!"
re-kindled my idea of swimming underwater in a tail
again, almost 20 years after my first endeavor.
Now, you can simply go online and purchase a tail,
but that time, there was no such thing. I had to create
everything from scratch, and after countless hours
of trying different things, I had my first legit prototype
13 years later I have over 10 fully functional tails,
each one taking about 6 months to create!
So, I started shooting with underwater photographers,
and the media became interested, and then people actually
began to hire me as a mermaid!
My fantasy became my reality.
I swam with a glittering tail through shipwrecks,
played with dolphins, explored the blue underwater
caves of Tonga. One of the most incredible experiences
was swimming with a humpback whale and her baby. I
was looking into an eye that was the size of my head.
The song she sung was such a deep rumble that it vibrated
every bone in my body. The effect was profound. I
felt a presence that I can only explain as deeply
intelligent and infinitely precious
on land, my joy began to turn into horror and dismay..
I found out that these magnificent creatures, although
supposedly protected, were still being hunted and
killed. I was seeing reefs deteriorating before my
eyes, beaches covered in garbage, and most devastating
of all, I was learning of numerous species being annihilated
through pollution and over-fishing.
current estimates, around 70% of the Earths oxygen
is produced by the sea, and also around 70% of all
life on earth exists in our oceans.
In the last 50 years weve eaten more than 90%
of the large fish. At this rate, many suggest we will
have exhausted most, if not all life in the ocean
within the next few decades, which has catastrophic
implications to our entire eco-system.
bubble was bursting!
I realized that being a mermaid was no longer just
about fantasy and fairy tails for me.. it was time
to take action!
began protesting at International Whaling Commissions
around the world, creating photo petitions in an effort
to stop whaling.
was part of a group that paddled out into the bay
of Taiji, Japan, where we were attacked by fishermen
that slaughter hundreds of dolphins each year.
The footage we captured was televised worldwide and
featured in the academy award winning film, The Cove.
Millions of people become aware of the issue. This
was instrumental in getting mercury laden dolphin
meat taken off the supermarket shelves and out of
the government funded school lunch program! However
the killing continues!
Despite the films success, many people havent
seen it The common response is I dont
want to see dolphins being killed, but I support what
you do! It seems many of us arent willing
to face reality when its ugly.. So how do we
galvanize mass awareness and action when something
threatens our existence?
began working with one of the most talented underwater
cinematographers and passionate eco-activists - Shawn
Heinrichs. Our mission became clear.
Instead of showing the harsh realities of the issues,
what if we could inspire more change and drive action
through beautiful imagery that personally connected
humans to the animals?
created the worlds first Whale Shark Fashion
shoot, highlighting one Island communities ability
to make more profit by non-invasive eco-tourism than
from shark finning.
The photos and story went worldwide. The response
was more than either of us had ever experienced before!
By bridging land and sea as a mermaid with a cause,
we were able to appeal to people through fantasy,
and empower them with a new possible reality.
Rays are harmless, majestic beings who are hunted
relentlessly just for their gills which are sold on
the Asian food market. The Convention for International
Trade of Endangered Species called CITES meets every
3 years to decide which animals will be listed for
protection. Many people told us mantas would not be
considered because of a perception that they are dangerous
like the sting ray that killed Steve Irwin.
created the short film Mantas Last Dance. There I
was on the bottom of the ocean, freezing cold at midnight,
weighted down with 50lb, pushed onto sharp rocks by
strong currents, holding my breath in the darkness,
with viper eels wrapping around my legs and
then the mantas showed up.. and began dancing inches
from my fingertips! The connection was undeniable!
film went viral worldwide, and was shown to the convention
delegates at CITES.
Manta rays were put on the protected list, garnering
more votes than any other animal, land or sea.
a belief out there that sharks are mindless killing
The reality is, under 10 humans are killed by sharks
per year, and humans kill 100 million sharks per year!
Thats about 12,000 per hour! Recently in Western
Australia a shark culling program was introduced,
to make the beaches safe for humans. So
we asked - could we possibly get people to care about
one of the worlds most feared predators?
shot a film with Tiger Sharks. What I witnessed when
interacting with them was astounding to me. Of all
the animals Ive connected with in the ocean,
they were the ONLY ones who constantly approached
to be touched and even tickled on the nose! Im
not suggesting that everyone go and try to pet tiger
sharks They are still wild apex predators, and
I was with a group of trained professionals, but it
does suggest that we have been misled in our perception
of these animals.
film Tigress was seen by over 50 million
people the first day it was released on tv networks
and online. Once people saw these animals interacting
harmlessly with a human, interest soared, and people
felt connected to the issue!
We gathered over 10,000 letters calling for an end
to the shark culling program, which were hand delivered
to the Environmental Protection Agency of Australia.
Joining our voices to many eco organizations around
the world we were able to help change the shark cull
went from making a living, to worldwide acclaim when
I found a way to use my passion to benefit the world.
Passion connected with purpose has been a winning
formula! We are part of a new paradigm of creativity
fueling global change, through inspirational media.
is a 15 ft painting I created, called the Angel
of Choice - she asks you to chose your reality.
We live in a time where radical creativity is needed
more than ever. Fantasy and imagination are the source
of innovation and solution.
action creates a ripple effect. By constantly choosing
love and connection in every moment, we send out ever
growing ripples that will change our reality.
Which world do you want to live in?
possibilities exist when you bring your fantasies
up from the depths, to the shores of reality?
Life Mermaid & Underwater Performance Artist -
Hannah Fraser & Ocean Animals - 'Emanation'
Mermaid live performance slideshow
Mermaid interviewed on Sunrise Tv Show Dec 2012
on 10 Dec 2012
Hannah Fraser is interviewed on her career as a mermaid
and releases new astounding images of swimming with
Whale Sharks in the Philippines.
Sunrise Show Australia Channel 7, December 2012
any questions on mermaid tail creation and mermaid
swimming and career, refer to www.hannahmermaid.com
Photos by Shawn Heinrichs
Cipto Aji Gunawan
Current Affair Mermaid
on 28 Nov 2009
Hannah Fraser, a professional Mermaid is interviewed
on A CURRENT AFFAIR about her globetrotting underwater
modeling jobs of fantasy and activism. A real mermaid!
Underwater model and actress makes a living from performing
as a mermaid. A Current Affair gave permission for
Hannah Fraser to use this video of her interview online.