“Life is much better down where it’s wetter.”
Once Sebastian, the cartoon crab from The Little Mermaid, sang these words, which became true to life for 24-year-old Christian Riel.
He was so inspired by his childhood favourite film that he decided to make his own sleek mermaid tail.
Now Christian, from Florida, spends his spare time splashing about in his pool, wearing his custom-made, golden tail for which he paid $1,581 (£1,120).
“Disney’s Little Mermaid made me discover my love for the ocean and the sea,” he explained to The Metro.
“I’ve lived in Florida for two years and drove out to the ocean whenever I had the time.”
“I just love sitting by the shore and love swimming in the salty sea water.”
“About two years ago, I found some mermaid/merman Instagram pages, and that’s when I realised I want to be a merman, too. I love the water, and I love swimming with and without the tail. Wearing it makes you so much faster, and it’s just an awesome feeling of liberty.”
But Little Mermaid wasn’t the only idea dealer for our Merman. Taking inspiration from Australian TV show H2O: Just Add Water, Christian designed the garment, sketching the back, front and side to show designers.
“Public pools don’t allow regular fins so they wouldn’t allow mermaid tails but I do have my own pool, and I love to swim in lakes and in the ocean.”
Now his only wish is to pursue living as a merman.
Future primary school teacher admitted that there’s some discomfort wearing the tail and swimming with it, but reactions from the public motivate him to do what he does.
“I suffer from pain in my ankles when wearing my tail longer than an hour and after a couple of hours swimming my eyesight gets blurry because of salty sea water or chloride,” he said.
However, these troubles don’t actually hamper him to continue living as merpeople: “I’m just happy that all my friends and family love me being a fish and love to go swimming with me and enjoy taking one hundred pictures of me as a creature from the deep blue sea.”