Sirenalia, an Austin, Texas based mermaid production company, traveled to the Great Barrier Reef of Belize, where Maria Russo, an eight-months-pregnant mermaid, swam with schools of sharks and manta rays to raise awareness for reef conservation. The trip was documented by Flashpool Productions, an underwater photography company.
The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest coral reef system in the world, and is one of the planet’s most diverse ecosystems. Unfortunately, over 48% of the reef has been damaged since 1998. “I love this reef so much, and I want to be able to share it with my daughter,” said Russo. “It’s heartbreaking to me to think of the damage done to it. I genuinely hope she gets to experience it when she’s grown.”
All photos are being donated to be used as promotional materials by Barrier Reef conservation agencies, most notably Green Reef, a Belize-based nonprofit.
Maria’s company, Sirenalia, specializes in the production of silicone mermaid tails & accessories, and customized mermaid performances. It has several regular mermaid performers, two of whom came on the trip to swim alongside her. “I’m really proud of my girls – swimming in a mermaid tail is a learned skill, and I felt really good knowing they were with me,” said Maria.
“It was so exciting to get to be a part of this project,” said Teveldal. “It’s not every day that you get to shoot a pregnant mermaid swim through a cloud of sharks!”
Custom mermaid tails start at $1800 and are beautifully handmade and hand painted.
Maria gave birth to her daughter, Felix Darling, on March 6th. “I can’t wait to make her a tail of her own,” said Maria.
How Cool is That!?!