Underwater Santa, photographed in the 120,000-gallon Window on Washington Waters exhibit at Seattle Aquarium. Kelly O

Every Saturday and Sunday through December 20, little ones will be lining up to see the scuba-diving Santa Claus at Seattle Aquarium.

Played by a volunteer named Carl—he preferred not to give his last name but said we could call him "Captain Carl" (he's a fisherman when not on holiday duty)—underwater Santa wears special weighted facial hair to prevent inconvenient beard drift.

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He communicates with the kids—telling fish-themed holiday stories and laughing loud ho-ho-ho!s—with the help of an AGA mask for breathing, a helicopter-pilot-style mic for talking, and headphones to hear what the little whippersnappers want for Christmas.

No one ever asks Santa what he wants, so as he secured the mask in preparation for another dive, I did. "I want cleaner water in the world," he replied, "for all the fishes, in every sea." recommended