It’s a photo that’s getting wildlife photographer Justin Hofman international attention. It’s also a photo that he wishes did not exist.
While snorkeling off on island south of Borneo, in Indonesia, Hofman happened upon a tiny orange seahorse drifting in with the tide. But what began as a pleasing encounter with one of the ocean's most recognizable animals soon took a heartbreaking turn. Slowly but surely, pollution in the surrounding waters began to drift in as well — a wave of debris and waste left behind by humans that the little seahorse had no hope of escaping.
"It was literally sewage; you could smell the water change. It was disgusting," Hofman recounted to The Dodo. "Eventually, this little scene unfolded in front of me."
Now awash in floating litter, the seahorse moved from one piece of debris to the next — eventually clinging to a plastic cotton swab that had sadly found its way into her fragile habitat.
"To see this little seahorse — it’s heartbreaking," Hofman said.