Meet the Japan pig, a newfound species of pygmy seahorse discovered in Japan.
Only the size of a grain of rice, these colorful creatures inhabit shallow waters and blend in well with the algae-covered rocks where they live.
They’re easy to overlook, as their color makes them look like little bits of floating seaweed. Their coloration is “very special,” says Kevin Conway, associate professor and curator of fishes at Texas A&M University. “It's like a seahorse wearing a paisley pattern.”
Scientists have named the creature Hippocampus japapigu—using the Latin for “Japan pig,” the name adopted for it by divers who have seen it in southeastern Japan.
It earned that appellation “because to the locals, it resembles a tiny baby pig,” says Graham