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oceans

Science

Seahorses have one of the coolest origin stories of all life on Earth

One of the ocean's worst swimmers has managed to adventure across the world.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

How did seahorses spread across the globe if they can't swim well?

We all know that seahorses are some of the most unique and fascinating creatures that Mother Nature has to offer.

For one thing, they’re gorgeous. Who has ever looked at a seahorse, with all its vivid colors and delicate, otherworldly shapes and gone, meh? No one, I tell you.

Plus they’re basically the mascot for cool, supportive dads everywhere. Not every creature in the animal kingdom can say that.

Yet, for as much as we know about the seahorse, there are even more thrilling stories swimming around—particularly when it comes to how it got here in the first place.

A video published by PBS Eons explains that today, seahorses are found in all of the world's oceans. And yet, they are pretty terrible swimmers. So how on Earth could they have traveled such far distances to spread across the globe?

As it turns out, the answer is possibly hiding even further below the surface.

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Tasked with revealing the planet's most beautiful sights, nature documentarians often hope they inspire people to get involved with conservation. But this film crew decided to start saving the Earth themselves.

On Sunday, the BBC Earth Twitter account confirmed that the filmmaking team behind their spectacular dive into the ocean's hidden depths, "Blue Planet II," didn't stop at capturing the magic of the ocean.

"Blue Planet II" is a sequel to the BBC's blockbuster 2001 special and uses cutting-edge camera equipment technology (like suction cup cameras sneakily attached to orca whales) and the melodious voice of Sir David Attenborough, to show the audience both the wonders of the ocean and the problems facing it today.

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This is what it looks like when a piece of coral dies.

[rebelmouse-image 19532184 dam="1" original_size="500x281" caption="GIF via Netflix/Exposure Labs/YouTube, from the film "Chasing Coral."" expand=1]GIF via Netflix/Exposure Labs/YouTube, from the film "Chasing Coral."

This is a phenomenon known as coral bleaching, now captured in the award-winning documentary "Chasing Coral." To get these impressive shots, a team of photographers, divers, and scientists traveled the world to capture time-lapse photographs of coral bleaching events.

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Photographer Justin Hofman was snorkeling along the beautiful coast of Indonesia when the tide swept a mountain of garbage his way.

Photo by Justin Hofman used with permission.

"It was really quite gross," he says. He had been snapping underwater photos of the brilliant coral and different kinds of interesting fish when his field of view was suddenly swamped with trash and sewage.

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