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A Playboy model has taken part in a dramatic photoshoot alongside sharks in an attempt to hit back at the 'bad reputation' the creatures have.
Marisa Papen, from Belgium, has previously posed nude in front of numerous world landmarks to challenge taboos around being naked, and was even once arrested after being snapped at Karnak Temple Complex near the Egyptian city of Luxor.
In her latest eyebrow-raising photo shoot, Papen, 28, swam with sharks off the coast of Hawaii.
Speaking to Real Press about the shoot, she said: "It was one of the most peaceful experiences of my life being with the sharks. Being in their presence, I felt complete serenity.
"People ask me if I was scared, but actually, I was not scared at all.
"They were Galapagos sharks. There were also a couple of reef sharks around and one tiger shark that swam up to us, we didn't get to photograph him though, he was in and out."
The shoot took place at the end of summer, off the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
Papen went on to say she took part in an attempt to challenge the perception of both sharks and nudity.
"The message is all about breaking stigmas and taboos. Nudity is seen as bad in our society, and so are sharks," she said.
"Over the years, sharks have gained a bad reputation because of the film industry. I wanted to challenge viewers by looking at these magnificent creatures with a different eye."
Revealing how she built herself up to take the plunge, she said: "Before I jumped off the boat, I was meditating on the environment and preparing myself to tap into their energy.
"I had no clue what that would feel like since I had never swum with them before.
"I wasn't going to wear any goggles because I didn't want to be able to read their movements, I just had to trust I would be okay.
"After a couple of dives, I realised that their energy is actually so subtle, they are so at one with the ocean, I could barely feel their vibration."
She added: "I'm inspired by everything I observe in nature. And being in my natural state makes it so much easier to connect with the natural elements.
"I'm driven by a will for a better planet - one of unity, equality and beauty."
Featured Image Credit: Marisa Papen/Benjamin Ono/Earth Family/Real Press
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