Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

The World’s Smallest Seahorse

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Satomi’s pygmy seahorse, endemic to Indonesia, is one of the world’s tiniest seahorses. Two adults would fit head-to-head across the face of a penny and their offspring are each about the size of a 12-point apostrophe.

Image: Stephen Wong and Takako Uno/National Geographic.

At under half an inch tall (13 millimeters), Satomi’s pygmy seahorse — named after dive guide Satomi Onishi — is a strong contender for the world’s smallest seahorse. With their tails stretched out straight, two Satomi’s pygmy seahorses would fit head-to-head across the face of a penny.

These miniscule seahorses from Indonesian reefs have been seen giving birth to tiny offspring, each about the size of a 12-point apostrophe.

Together with two other species, Satomi’s pygmy seahorses were named in a December 2008 study.

Read more about them!


  1. #1 Tabor
    February 9, 2009

    Boy, does this capture my imagination and bring back my days of diving in the tropics! I never saw this one, but the rare times I saw a seahorse I was smitten.

  2. #2 Lilian Nattel
    February 9, 2009

    What a beautiful photo!

  3. #3 Vicky
    February 10, 2009

    Ha! I love how the size of the baby seahorse was described by font size. That gave me a very clear picture!

  4. #4 Vicky
    February 10, 2009

    Hmm….wait a second. This 12-point font we’re looking at…. what resolution are we using? 800 x 600? 1400 x 1050?


  5. #5 Fidi
    June 3, 2009

    WOOW!!!! it’s soooo beautiful i don’t have words…..

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