Luxe Life Blog
Human mermaid captivates city, may find underwater home here
Stunning Australian blonde Hannah Fraser, aka The Human Mermaid, has captivated our city in the four short days she’s been here as a visitor -- and now she’d like to stay. After a photo shoot at the Luxor, Hannah visited the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay and Siegfried & Roy’s dolphin habitat at The Mirage.
“Either one of those would make a lovely new home for me,” she laughed. Hannah, who was just profiled on ABC’s 20/20 broadcast about superhumans, hopes to meet up with her fellow Down Under showmen Human Nature at Imperial Palace before she heads back to L.A. tomorrow after a photo shoot with the hunks of Thunder From Down Under at Excalibur.
“It’s an Aussie invasion,” she told me when we had dinner at Tender Steakhouse in the Luxor and she showed me her underwater videos on a new iPad. Executives have been captivated by her and want to see her become a Las Vegas star.
Hannah is amazing because she can free-dive 50 feet below sea and return to the surface on a single breath of air. As ABC pointed out, what’s even more extraordinary is her ability to co-exist with animals that can quickly become unpredictable and dangerous. She swims alongside whales and their calves rising out of the deep waters where light begins to vanish.
“I am a mermaid,” she told ABC. “There is no oxygen tank. There is no facemask. There is no warm wetsuit. Only my special mermaid tail. I have found a way to integrate with their environment and swim with them and have a level of comfort that most people will never experience in their life.
“The tail gives me so much more propulsion and streamline ability. I can swim much faster with the tail on than other people can without it. So really fast, strong swimmers can’t keep up with me when I’m wearing it. It’s like it imbues me with some kind of superhuman powers of confidence and longevity to be in the ocean.”
Hannah told me she was just 3 when she started painting mermaids, and then she told her parents that she wanted to become one for real. “I was a complete water baby -- throw me in a pool, and I was just on the bottom playing and making up stories about mermaids. I made my first mermaid’s tail when I was 9, and it was definitely not functional. And it’s quite amazing that my mother even let me tie my legs together and throw me into the pool with, you know, pillow stuffing down there. It’s pretty dangerous. But I kept on practicing my free diving and breath hold.”
She has turned her passion into a full-time profession, performing in documentaries and aquariums and on television as a mermaid, ocean environmentalist, artist and model. Hannah continues to use her link to the ocean to inspire and educate people on the importance of marine life. She has swum with sharks, whales, dolphins, stingrays, sea lions and sea turtles.
“Being in the ocean is where I feel the most free and expressive. You can feel the connection and abundance of life around you as they move with the same currents, work symbiotically to survive and adapt to suit their environment. Most sea animals are curious and interested in the humans who enter their world with respect. 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, I feel I have done something worthwhile."
She makes it seem effortlessly easy but warns, “Swimming with the whales was one of the most unbelievable, awe-inspiring experiences that I could ever imagine. I had this moment where I’m swimming out in the middle of a huge blue ocean, complete depth, cannot see the bottom. Then there’s this huge shape that just starts coming up -- it's like the size of a building! And I’m, like, I don’t even know which way to go right now. It’s going to come up, and I’m going to be on its back and fall into its mouth or its blowhole. I can’t see. I am powering with all of my might to try to keep up into the same water space as these animals. It is hard work! You have to be really fit to be able to do what I do.”
“When I was working with the whales, if I had tried too hard to just get in their space, they could kind of twitch, and a little twitch could completely bowl me over and break my neck. So there is a big risk.”
Hannah fights hard as an ocean activist. She was on the front lines and attacked by fishermen while protesting the annual killing of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Pro surfer David Rastovich and she organized the Taiji paddle out in the bay of Japan to bring awareness to the killings. The chilling moment when Hannah was attacked was captured in this year’s Oscar-winning film The Cove.
“They were extremely angry,” she said. “They didn’t want to be filmed. And they started backing up their boat propellers right up to our legs. We were that close to spinning boat propellers. And as soon as this guy started pulling out this huge long stick, I was, like, that’s when the fear set in.”
Now she’s hoping that she can bring her skills and talents to Las Vegas. She’s met with Fantasy producer Anita Mann and will shoot a calendar with ace cameraman Jerry Metellus. Plans for a line of mermaid-inspired swim and ocean sportswear were inked at the International Licensing Convention at Mandalay Bay this week, and she hopes for that initial home inside the shark tank at Mandalay Bay, which celebrates its 10th anniversary next week.
I’ve learned that Hannah also will meet with Luxor headliner Criss Angel in the next 24 hours to discuss a magic illusion they could work on together. As one top hotel executive told me: “She’s going to wind up in a role somewhere in Las Vegas. She now has so many avenues to pursue. Hannah is unique and captivating and would become another Vegas phenomenon. The world is now her oyster -- or soon will be!”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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