Braving sub-zero temperatures, she has thrown caution — and her clothes — to the wind to tame two beluga whales in a unique and controversial experiment.
Natalia Avseenko, 36, was persuaded to strip naked as marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits.
The skilled Russian diver took the plunge as the water temperature hit minus 1.5 degrees Centigrade.
The fact that she is Russian is important because the Russian language has the important word "poshlost." The word means more than "cheesy." It is something that is cheesy beyond our words. Indeed, Nabokov used the image of a naked man swimming with swans as a way to get close of the essence of poshlost. This business of a naked woman swimming with whales is not science; it is poshlost.
The dwelling place of the maiden [Gretchen] whom [the German man] had long been courting without success stood on the bank of some lake or other, and there she would be every evening sitting on her balcony and doing two things at once: knitting a stocking and enjoying the view. My German [man] being sick of the futility of his pursuit finally devised an unfailing means whereby to conquer the heart of his cruel Gretchen. Every evening he would take off his clothes, plunge into the lake and, as he swam there, right under the eyes of his beloved, he would keep embracing a couple of swans which had been specially prepared by him for that purpose. I do not quite know what those swans were supposed to symbolize, but I do know that for several evenings on end he did nothing but float about and assume pretty postures with his birds under that precious balcony.