These mermaids are here to celebrate the Adventure Aquarium’s 30th anniversary | Lifestyle

It’s not every day that you get a chance to see tropical fish, hippos, or even sharks up close and in person. For the last 30 years, Camden’s Adventure Aquarium has bought the beauty of the deep sea right to you. The aquarium has invited some very special guests to help them celebrate. The mermaids will entertain visitors with colorful costumes and staggering stunts. From Thursday through Sunday now through Mar. 13, you can see these mythical mermaids.

In their free time, Danielle Houston, Maya Landau, and Imari Stout are just normal women who enjoy marine life, good food, and more. For work though, they are a whole other species. Throwing on a pair of fins and flippers these women turn into mermaids right out of a storybook, Houston can even be seen diving with predators of the deep.

“Those sharks are very chill. They’re not interested in us. They’re very docile and sentient.” Says Landau.

From swimming with sharks to playing with the smaller aquatic animals, all three mermaids gush over the work they get to do all over the U.S. “My friends and family were like, no way that you’re a mermaid! This is so ironic — because I’ve been obsessed with mermaids for as long as I can remember. It’s been very, very special. And I hope to keep doing it.” says Stout.

For Houston, Landau and Stout playing with stingrays is all in a day’s work, but don’t let the colorful costume fool you, as it’s all still work.

“It’s a lot. Physically, it is pretty hard on the body. Just diving in general. And then just understanding how to stay calm underwater is huge!” Houston says.

The three women share their sentiments about the physicality of their work, which doesn’t come without proper training. Mermaids have to go through scuba training and be certified before plunging into the tanks, they also have to coordinate with the marine biologist to learn all about the animals they’ll be working with.

“It’s a good lesson in patience and responding in emergency situations because when we’re down there and we’re diving, we don’t see. We don’t see when the animals surround us because you can’t really see underwater, so we’re having to depend on one of the safety divers to kind of move them out of the way or keep them away from us. But it’s about staying calm. It’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding.” Houston said.

Even with the preparation it takes to turn into the unique mythological figures, the women agree it’s worth it.

The women take pride in their ability to bring representation to the mermaid community. As three Black mermaids, their presence is meaningful, particularly for children who haven’t seen anything like them before.

“Had I seen a black mermaid when I was young, I mean, my entire world would have been changed. And I think we were all excited when we found out that the live-action Disney ‘Little Mermaid’ was passed with a Black Ariel, with Halle Bailey. I mean, that was world-changing. So I feel like, you know, we’re making waves and changing things for the community.

“You’re breaking stereotypes, you’re breaking barriers, you’re making things possible for other generations, and all we’re doing is putting on a tail.” Stout said.

Whether eight years old or 80 years old, a mermaid is always a fun attraction for everyone. “To see this ‘thing’ that they never thought was real, and to be the person on the other side making them smile — it just It warms my heart.” says Landau. The 30th anniversary is pulling out all the stops with Mermaid meet and greets, gift shops, and even themed food Interested attendees can visit the Adventure Aquarium website to purchase tickets today.






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