Honorable Mention Behavior Category


Honorable Mention, Behavior

Jan Wenger


Mating seahorses taken at the site "Aquarium" in the Daymaniyat Islands, Oman


The picture was taken on one of my recent dives on my favorite dive site in Oman, called 'Aquarium'. I knew from the beginning the seahorses were there, but usually they were sitting on different parts of the reef. Unfortunately the boat was quite busy that day and when a good friend of mine spotted the seahorses sitting together on the same coral, every diver in the water was quickly moving to the spot ... so it became very crowded. I can imagine the poor seahorses were a bit intimitaed and did not do anything but just sitting there, about 20cm apart from each other.

After maybe 25 minutes most divers either ran low on air or out of bottom time as the seahorses were sitting in about 25 meters depth, and finally everyone had moved on.  It was one of my first dives on my new side mount kit, so I had two tanks with me, ... and that proofed to be the difference. When all other divers had moved on, the two seahorses unhooked themselves from the coral and started chasing each other for about 5 minutes ... it was an amazing 'dance' and  I had never seen them moving so much and so quickly.

After maybe 5 minutes the male grabbed the female's tale and they floated towards me, forming that amazing heart shape. I realized having a 105mm lens on was a bit unlucky as they were about 15-20cm tall, so I had to move away and shoot about 2-3 meters away hovering in the open water, ... either way, by that time I was literally screaming into my regulator as I could not believe how lucky I was.