“Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid” gave me the courage to scuba dive for the first time in Indonesia.
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” was released the same month I was born in San Diego, California, in October 1989.
It was probably the first Disney movie I watched, which may be why I’ve always believed that “life under the sea is better.” For my whole life, I’ve been happiest by the water and was raised with a deep appreciation for the ocean during my early years in California and Uruguay. The first time I ever snorkeled was when I was a pre-teen in Hawaii and I’ve been in love with the aquatic hobby ever since.
But seeing the world of sea life that exists deep under the water in “The Little Mermaid” always made me want to go down further than just swimming on top of the waves.
In fact, the song’s lyrics —”right here on the ocean floor, such wonderful things surround you” — always stuck in my head. So when I visited Raja Ampat, Indonesia, I decided to find the courage to go scuba diving for the first time, as it’s know to have the most diverse aquatic life in the world.
The song came to life as I dove down into the biodiverse region and saw black-tipped sharks chasing sting rays, plenty of octopus, cuddle fish camouflaging to match their surroundings, technicolored nudibranchs, and a tiny sea horse.
The movie remains a favorite, as does this memory directly inspired by it.