Linden Wolbert is a real life mermaid who swims with whale sharks, fish and jelly fish. The 32-year-old from Los Angeles uses her 6-foot custom-made tail to swim to depths of 115 feet. She uses her skills as a real-life mermaid to promote ocean conservation and education. Linden feels that she has always been a mermaid and began her career as a free-driver driver early.
"I grew up as a water baby. My parents are both competitive swimmers."
For Linden it was destiny that she would spend her life swimming in the water.
"I always looked forward to going to the ocean for our summer vacation. I had a magnetism to the water. I've kind of always been a free-diver but didn't realize the sport existed until ten years ago. Shortly thereafter, I when began training. Free-diving is 70 percent psychological. You have to be very calm and at ease in the water."
Linden says she had always dreamed of becoming a mermaid, although her dream started to become a reality when she encountered Hollywood special effects artist, Allan Holt. The pair spent 7 months working on the custom made 35 pound tail. The tail was crafted from a fiberglass mold of Linden's body.
The process of building the tail involved sealing a monofin inside high-quality silicone to make it hydro-dynamic and effective in the water. The whole tail cost about $12,857 to complete. While the tail was an expense, Linden said it was worth the money.
"We set a budget at the start but then things happened. It ended up being way over, but it was worth it. My friends and family were all there the first time I used it in the water. I couldn't stop smiling. I couldn't believe it was finally happening."
As well as free-diving, Linden, who has a degree in film and science from Emerson College, produces her Mermaid Minute, educational clips web series for children.
She offers her mermaid services to the Make A Wish Foundation, Reef Check Worldwide and several other non-profits and charities.