Raja Ampat, the quest for the pigmy seahorse

I had always wanted to see a seahorse and that dream came true .

It all started when my parents came back from a dive in Wayag (Raja Ampat).

I could see by their faces that this dive had been incredible and I soon found out that the guys on Mystic Rhythms had showed them a pigmy seahorse.

It is really hard work to find them, but they are tiny and beautiful, well its size is beautiful 🙂 Denise pigmy seahorse, Wayag, Raja Ampat. Diving with SY Mystic Rhythms.

The following weeks we looked for them but it was impossible.

This is the gorgonian fan where we look for the pigmy seahorses. Can you spot it ?? It is on the picture !


Different gorgonian. Can you see the pigmy in this one?? They are there………..
Ok, look in front of the finger, just below it. Can you see it?


My parents thought we would have a chance to see them with a guide . So when we arrived to the Misool Eco Resort we decided to make a dive with them. It would be mum’s, dad’s , Luna’s and my first dive all together, since we only have two tanks on board,  so we wanted it to be a special one.

We told the guide that we would love to see  a pigmy seahorse and that we had been looking for it, but never found it.

We took  off to Nudi Rock were the dive would be and soon jumped into the water.

It was full of fishes and coral !

After having spent 15 minutes on the dive the dive guide pointed at a gorgonian fan.I was sure it would be a pigmy and I was right . There was a tiny thing, smaller than my small fingernail camouflaging in the gorgonia.  I was so happy to see one and I could not believe it, but I was not expecting to see more. The second pigmy was a Denise which was a little scared of having big things next to him, so we did not see him that well.


Raja Ampat Seahorse. Nudi Rock, Misool, Raja Ampat
Look at the incredible capacity these guys have to mimic the gorgonian fan they live in. Looking for them is like….nothing else. Bargibanti Hippocampus.
Taking the pictures is a real challenge, specially with our amateur pocket camera.

As we were slowly getting towards the end of the dive the dive guide pointed at another really beautiful gorgonian. He was showing me the spot were there was meant to be one, but I could not see anything. It took what felt like half an hour to spot the little thing. It was amazing how he had adopted the color and shape of the gorgonian.

The dive finished and I could not believe that we had seen the three tipes of pigmy that were on that island.

But that had not been enough for me and the next day Dad, Mum and me were off for another dive on Whale Rock.

The colours and life of the reef were again really beautiful and I looked in almost every gorgonia. As I approached one I recognised the same shape of the one we had seen the denise pigmy the day before, so I started looking like the guides had told us and suddenly  saw a little denise pigmy seahorse. I was really excited and started to shout through the regulator to get my mum and dad to come and see it. They instantly understood why I was shouting and quikly came. While we were watching it, we saw it untangle his tail to move and grab on another part of the fan. There turned out to be two more on the gorgonia which left us even more reasons to stay longer watching them.

It was incredible and I soon found myself proudly telling my sibblings that we had seen another pigmy seahorse.

I felt completed and satisfied with what I had experienced and now it will be easier to look for them since I already know what they look like.


Denise pigmy seahorse. Whale Rock, Misool, Raja Ampat

3 thoughts on “Raja Ampat, the quest for the pigmy seahorse

  1. svbrightwater February 15, 2016 / 3:37 am

    I am showing this to all my friends, Ainara. Your writing is fantastic. Please write more, and make your brother and sisters write just a little bit too. Ask. I mean ask.

  2. Marianne February 15, 2016 / 9:01 am

    Wow Ainara, qué pasada. Nos has alegrado el domingo lluvioso 😉
    Besitos de los Burgos

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