This real-life mermaid will give you new career goals

And new breath-holding goals.

By Claire Hodgson

If there was ever a time when being a real-life mermaid didn't seem like a great idea, this video will probably change your mind.

Mermaid Melissa, who claims to be the only person in the world legally called 'Mermaid', is a professional mermaid and can hold her breath for up to five minutes.

Melissa - or is it first name Mermaid? - grew up in Florida and by the age of 12 she could already hold her breath underwater for over 2 and a half minutes.

From then, she started working in theme parks, animal shows and even on film sets, until she qualified as a professional diver and began working with marine mammals.

She now works with a licensed Mermaid Entertainment Aquatic Company (yes, that's a thing). "This talented team includes trained professional mermaids, mermen, and pirates."

It looks like a pretty amazing job TBH judging by her new YouTube video, which shows her free diving with manta rays in in the Southern Barrier Reef just off our shores.

But Melissa has told the Daily Mail that it's a "lifestyle" more than a career. "There isn't a day I'm not splashing about with my mermaid tail on. I'm always living the mermaid lifestyle both in and out of the water."

Not entirely sure what the "mermaid lifestyle" involves on dry land. Presumably eating fish and chips while watching The Little Mermaid and Splash? Or is that cannibalism? Do mermaids eat fish?

It looks pretty fun, anyway. Presuming those rays are friendly of course. Now we just need to practice holding our breath…