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The trip was about to start, and Ricardo Araujo needed to find a mermaid.
His client, the heir to a large American family fortune, was embarking on a three-week cruise that would follow the path of the epic poem The Odyssey. Araujo, a luxury travel agent who specializes in bespoke vacations, had spent six months and millions of dollars planning the trip, and he needed something truly spectacular to finish it off. When he heard the client’s granddaughter loved mermaids, he knew what it was.
Araujo scoured social media for the perfect professional mermaid—yes, those exist—then flew her from Scotland to Capri. He hired a submarine and made the driver and the actress rehearse ceaselessly, mapping out her entrance, her exit, the direction she’d be swimming when the submarine passed. He even looped in the family’s security detail, to make sure the mermaid wouldn’t be taken out if she swam too close.
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