Quirky News

  • 15 March 2013, 11:38

Mermaid dances underwater with manta ray

An amazing video of a 'mermaid' dancing underwater with a 15ft manta ray is going viral online.

It was made as a conservation project to highlight the plight of the endangered underwater creatures by US photographer Shawn Heinrichs.

'Mantas Last Dance' was filmed in the Pacific Ocean, off Kona, Hawaii, featuring professional mermaid model Hannah Fraser who free dives for up to two minutes at a time.

Mr Heinrichs said he worked with Miss Fraser for months on planning the project which he described as "the world's first ever manta ray fashion/conservation shoot".

"We had an extremely precise vision, however we were both apprehensive as to the chances of actually capturing this never before seen imagery," he said.

Miss Fraser was anchored 30ft deep in the ocean, with 50lb weights on one ankle, with a huge swell pushing her back and forth as huge wild mantas brushed against her.

The team worked five days straight - up to 20 hours a day - to complete the project and Mr Heinrichs says "tears were shed" when they saw the finished film.

"The reaction of people when they see the footage and imagery alternates between utter disbelief and accusations of CGI and photoshop, to even envy," he added.

Manta rays are endangered because they are being slaughtered for their gills which are used for medicine in China and other Asian countries.

"Our objective with this shoot was to present the beauty of the manta rays, their willingness to interact with humans in the hope of inspiring people to conserve this magnificent animal," explained Mr Heinrichs.