Mermaid makes a splash
A mermaid plunged into icy, shark-invested waters at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium in Auckland this morning as part of the school holiday entertainment.
Kazzie Mahina, a free diver known as Mahina Mermaid, can hold her breath for five minutes, but she admitted to holding back a little today.
The Australian is expecting a mer-baby soon - she is five months pregnant.
"I'm absolutely having a water birth and I have already made a little tail," she said.
Normally the freediver can withstand the cold water and deep dives, but she said she was being more cautious while pregnant.
However, the sharks don't frighten her.
"They're well-fed and friendly."
Mahina always had an inkling she would be a mermaid when she grew up.
"I was always dreaming about being a mermaid since I was little," she said.
She grew up on the south coast of New South Wales, spending all her spare time in the ocean.
As a child she would tie her legs together with a rope and pretend to be a mermaid on the beach.
In 2005 she turned the dream into a reality when she created her first mermaid tail, with the help of special effects experts.
From there she began swimming with dolphins, whales and sharks - with her tail attached - around the world.
Eventually she decided to bring her dream alive for other children by performing.
She also designs tails and scales for other mermaid-wannabes.
"It's never a mundane day. I just love swimming with the sea life."
Fancy a little mermaid of your own?
Mahina Mermaid's swim range, Oceanika MerFins, are sold at Smith & Caughey on Queen St, where she will meet her fans tomorrow.