Sea Horses: Fish of a Different Color

by CruiseReady

Learn a little bit about seahorses, as well as why a Seahorse theme is perfect for the bath, no matter what your favorite home decor color is. Why you should never use real ones.

A sea horse really is a fish of a different color, as you'll learn on this page. Those fascinating little creatures from the sea make us all smile. So, smile as you learn about the colorful world of the seahorse, and why they make an ideal motif for bath decor.

What is it about seahorses that's so endearing? Maybe it's their natural charm, or perhaps it's because they are so unique. Whatever it is, there's a good chance an image of a seahorse will elicit smiles. So, why not capitalize on that, and fill a space in your home with seahorse decor?

The neat thing about this theme is that it doesn't matter what color you like or which one predominates in your bath. That's because, as you will learn below, real seahorses exist in an incredible range of tones, from neutrals to pastels to bright colors, and even stripes or spots. So, you can stay be true to nature, and actually choose, for example, red or purple seahorse accessories for your bath.

The bath is a natural place to add a little seahorse charm, whether it's just one little touch with a decorator tile, or a whole undersea theme focusing on seahorses. But never the so called "dried" ones!

Image credit (See belows)

Fish of a Different Color That Can Even Change Colors

They Are Better at it than Chameleons

Seahorse near East Timor

By Andrepiazza (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Remember the "horse of a different color" in the Wizard of Oz?  Well, that may have been pure fiction, but when it comes to seahorses, it's really true!

Depending on the species, their natural color can be any of a number of colors, including white, yellow, pink, orange, blue, red, green, purple, and gray. Some kinds are "patterned," too.  For example, the tiger tail seahorse has yellow and black stripes, especially on their tails.  Some have blotches of bright color, or even spots that resemble polka dots.

The tiny pygmy seahorse lives among colorful sea corals, and their color matches the coral on which they live.  There are eight different pygmy species, all less than one inch long!

Like chameleons, they can change colors to match their surroundings, but they are even quicker at it than chameleons.  This is a good defense mechanism.  Since their limited swimming skills do not allow them to swim away from predators, they 'hide' by appearing to become part of the background.

Color changes are also a part of the mating ritual.

So, you see, a Seahorse really is a horse of a different color!

Horses of a Different Color

In nature, seahorses come in a virtual rainbow of colors, even changing color to blend in with their surroundings. 

Here's a lovely multicolored ocean stallion for your wall. This oceanic equines, made of durable metal, and will last for years in a guest bath, where it doesn't have to endure steamy showers on a daily basis.

IDEA:  Purchase several and arrange the 16" figures in one grouping, or scatter them about as you wish for a real eye catching herd of seahorses.


(And yes, a group of them IS called a herd!)

Slender Seahorses - Yellow or Orange

Depending on Whether they are Male or Female

Slender Seahorse

A Slender Seahorse, a species also known as the longsnout seahorse 

The female slender seahorse, like the one shown here, is yellow, while males are usually orange.  They live in the subtropical and tropical regions of the western hemisphere.

Did you know that there were so many naturally occurring colors of seahorses?

(a poll)

Seahroses - An Ideal Decorating Theme

For a Bathroom

Create a sweet and peaceful ambiance in your bath with this giant graphic of two charming little undersea creatures hanging from your shower bar.  One clings to the sea grass with its prehensile tail, while his mate swims out in search of a snack.

The white background provides a fresh clean look, while the pastels of the graphic add a sweet softness.  What a nice combination!

It's a standard size shower curtain, of softened polyester.

Four Seahorse Facts

Fun Things to Know about the Sea Horse


Sea Horse


By Mikolaj.zajac (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


LARGE AND SMALL: There are 54 species in the genus Hippocampus. The largest is the Pot Bellied Seahorse, which can grow to almost 14 inches tall.  The smallest are the Pygmy Seahorses, and there are eight known species of them around the world.  All of them are less than an inch tall when fully grown.

STAND UP GUYS and GALS: They swim in an upright position, standing up, as it were.  There are only two kinds of fish that do that.  (Yes, the seahorse is a fish.)  The other one is the razorfish.

LOUSY SWIMMERS:  The slowest swimming fish in all the world's oceans is the Dwarf Seahorse, found in the waters of the United States and The Bahamas.  It takes one of these little creatures up to an hour to go just five feet.  Other seahorses aren't much faster. 


PREHENSILE TAILS: Like Monkeys about a dozen other mamals, they can use their tails to grasp and hold on to things.  This is important for seahorses, as they tend to live in areas where there are currents that could sweep away a little creature with such limited swimming ability.  Prehensile tails are uncommon in fish.  The only other one having that capability is the pipefish.

A Special Request

For the Sake of Their Future

Please don't succumb to the temptation to use a real seahorse as part of your decor.   

Common, or Estuary, Seahorse


The widespread use of dried seahorses as mere decorations, as well as for souvenirs, and as ingredients in medicinal concoctions are among the demand factors that contribute to the commercial harvesting of tens of millions of them annually.

They lie in heaps and die, as their captors "dry them out," so their little dead bodies can be hung on walls or ground up and used in potions.

 As a result, the Common Seahorse, once plentiful, is now listed as a vulnerable species.

For more information on the capture of seahorses for commercial use, see Huge Demand Herding Seahorses into Extinction.

Hippocampus kuda 

Three More Fun Facts

About Seahorses

CONTINUOUS EATERS:  Because they don't have any teeth, or even a stomach, they must eat almost all the time.  So, if a seahorse is awake, it's probably feeding, or looking for food.  They suck in their food like little vacuum cleaners, and it passes right through their systems.

GOOD EYESIGHT:  Seahorses have really good eyesite.  Not only tht, but they can move one eye in a different direction than the other.  This helps them look for food in all directions without so much as even turning their head. 

TRUE BABY DADDIES:  As most everyone knows, it is the male who carries the eggs of the females, and gives birth.  Dad is usually exhausted and needs a good rest afterwards. He carries (depending on the species) 50 to over 1500 of the female's eggs in his pouch for two to four weeks.  The babies hatch inside the pouch, and Dad must contract his entire body time after time to release the young into the water.  Only a very few of the live young - or fry, as they are called - will grow to adulthood.

How the Seahorse Got its Shape

by Nature Video
Updated: 01/06/2017, CruiseReady
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Would you want seahorse bath accents in your home?

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DerdriuMarriner on 09/02/2017

CruiseReady, Is there any one country associated with seahorse-derived medicinal concoctions?

CruiseReady on 06/01/2015

But they do, and it's such a shame to think that they don't even give it a thought.

candy47 on 06/01/2015

I can't imagine anyone using dried seahorses for home decor. Shaking my head! I love the toilet paper holder.

CruiseReady on 05/31/2015

No, thank YOU for the nice comment! I am sad whenever I see dried seahorses for sale. it just isn't necessary, when there are so many wonderful photos and artistic representations of them to be had!

NanciArvizu on 05/31/2015

What a sweet little creature. Wonderful article! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

CruiseReady on 05/30/2015

They really are!

sheilamarie on 05/30/2015

Seahorses are such amazing little creatures! No wonder people are fascinated by them.

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