A ‘real-life mermaid’ says she’s teaching others how to use their tails and explore under the sea.
Nikky Wegloop, who works as a ‘professional mermaid’ and a qualified scuba diver, swims the shores as a stunning mythical creature in her custom-made tail.
Hoping to transform some young flounders into divers confident enough to outswim a dolphin, the 19-year-old loves to show off her tail at every dive site possible.
Now, the young siren intends to swim in a shoal, setting up a school for Disney and mermaid fans to become the next Ariel.
“As a scuba diver, I am always in or around the ocean ever since I was little,” said Nikky, from Mijas Costa, Spain.
“Stories about mermaids and movies and books about them always fascinated me, and when I got to an age where I could understand mythology, it was all I would read about.”
She added: “Having the chance to become a strong and powerful creature brought me even closer to the ocean in a completely different way.”
Diving from a young age, she received her PADI qualification in February 2023, before becoming the first qualified mermaid instructor in Costa del Sol.
Practising for hours in a pool, Nikki now takes to the ocean, exploring dive sites in her tail as she swims among the fish.
Despite weighing 5kg, the young siren swims effortlessly through the water daily, continuously improving her moves.
“When I was very young, I had the chance to try a tail,” she said.
“All we did was put on a tail and swim around, but I knew I had to do it.”
She continued: “I was taught all about it and the theory behind it, and then it was time to try!
“We went to a pool and were taught how to get into one and swim elegantly and many more skills, which made my dream come true.
“I was finally a real mermaid!”
Made from 70% recycled polyester, Nikki’s light blue tail comes with turquoise fins, costing $500 (£390).
It measures over one and a half meters long and weighs 11 pounds.
Nikki hopes to one day have a tail in every colour.
However, the tails don’t come cheap – ranging from $200 (£150) to $5,000 (£3,900).
“Inside the tail, there is a monofin, basically one big shoe in the form of a fin where both feet go in,” said Nikky.
“This will give me the power to move forward and give form to the tail so we become real mermaids!”
She added: “Just like shoes, there’s never enough tails!
“I would love to have a tail in a different colour than my current one but, it is a big step financially to purchase multiple tails, making it a plan for the future.
“Right now, I’m happy with my gorgeous eco-tail.
“There isn’t much of a process to put on the tail.
“I get into the water with the tail so it helps as a natural lubricant, put my feet into the monofin and start pulling the tail gently up, a little bit like a skirt.
“Some people wear leggings under so it goes up easier, I just get into the water.”
Now Nikky is on a mission to inspire a generation of swimmers, encouraging everyone to don a tail and try it.
The mermaid concluded: “Everyone should try it, no matter the age or sex.
“A lot of people think being a mermaid/man only entails buying a tail, but there is so much more to it!
“Anyone can learn how to gently swim through our big beautiful ocean!
“Give it a go!
“Don’t be scared and don’t be embarrassed if it doesn’t go well the first time.
“Just make sure to keep trying!”