Double-amputee New Zealander has mermaid dreams fulfilled

Laura June Dziuban
L. Dziuban|02.25.09

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Double-amputee New Zealander has mermaid dreams fulfilled

New Zealander Nadya Vessey -- who lost both of her legs to the knee when she was a child -- has just received a prosthesis that's pretty much unlike anything we've ever seen (outside of Splash). About two years ago, she approached Weta Workshop, who specialize in design and manufacturing of costumes and special effects (and have worked on projects such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy) to see if the company might be interested in making her a working, prostethic mermaid tail. Turns out they were, and they've just completed the final product. The tail, which is composed of wetsuit fabric and plastic molds, with a custom paint job and digitally-imaged effects, enables Nadya to swim quite effectively, apparently, and is an all around sexy piece of machinery. No word on what one of these slick dudes would cost in real life, but we have a feeling we couldn't justify the expense just to tool around in the kiddie pool.

Update: Check out the video after the break!

[Thanks, Pyper]

Further reading:

Immaculate prosthetic limb concept makes combines fun again
We never thought it would it come to this, but damn if that image above doesn't make the idea of having a prosthetic limb attractive.
Touch Bionics i-LIMB bionic hand
Using electric signals generated by working muscles to control the hand, the device is much like traditional myoelectric prosthetics (the signals are sent from electrodes placed on the skin). See also: Video
UK canine equipped with prosthetic paw
Although we've certainly come across prosthetics with names similar to that of a fun-loving canine, we don't believe we've ever seen a pup actually become the receipiant of one.
Seabobbing: swimming for the lazy
Hanging out at the beach is always a lot of fun, but swimming in the ocean is, like, really tiring, so when our friends all decide to go in the water, we usually cop-out by making up some lame excuse about a leg cramp.

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