Who said there’s no such thing as mermaids?
Check out these incredible pictures of models swimming with 3,600 pound rays and you might believe!
An Emmy Award-winning underwater photographer and cinematographer has captured a series of breathtaking images of a model dressed as a mermaid swimming manta rays in an effort to raise awareness about the animals’ endangerment and possible future extinction.
Shawn Heinrichs, 45, of Boulder, Colorado, has released his latest series of breathtaking shots, which see model Hannah Fraser dressed in gossamer outfits and dancing underwater with the 3,600 pound creatures in Hawaii at midnight.
Through his amazing imagery, the marine conservationist seeks to connect people with the vulnerability of marine life and give them a passion for the threatened species of mantas, sharks, rays, dolphins, and whales, which are hunted and sold in black markets in many cultures for their supposed medicinal qualities.
His latest photos see Hannah, an underwater performer with whom he has previously worked, dancing alongside the beautiful manta rays as she wears a mermaid tail by Finfolk Productions – and no underwater protective or breathing gear.
Shawn and Hannah, who three years ago shot the short film ‘Mantas Last Dance’ to raise awareness about the slaughter and sale of the animals, created this series of pictures as part of the sequel to that film, ‘Midnight Manta Rays’.
They shot the stunning footage in Kona, Hawaii, which became a world leader in manta ray conservation after it pioneered laws to protect the creatures from any exploitation.
Shawn said of the project: ‘Manta rays are beautiful, gentle and charismatic animals in urgent need of protection. Through these images, we intend to connect a global audience with beauty and vulnerability of mantas, inspiring people to care and act to conserve them.”