Building a Secret World for Seahorses


Great Big Story


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they call me the sea horse whisperer I do 221 dives a year all right if you went with me you and I would be the only two people out of 50 million that would see one that's how rare it is [Music] ever since I was a kid living in Iowa I always dreamt about the ocean I am not trained as a scientist but I've always had an interest my name is roger Hansen I have probably spent more time with the seahorse hippocampus engine than anyone else in the world [Music] I saw my first seahorse here in Southern California in Alamitos Bay January 30th 2016 I was absolutely stunned I did recognize how uniquely different the creature was I was afraid they would leave I knew how rare they were then so I went down that night and built my first biome out of sticks palm fronds and pine branches they named it Atlantis and they loved the sticks they wrapped their little tails around them so I think I just guessed what they might like so I built two more biomes sister communities one I called Vegas and the other one I called the Bellagio after a while by the numbers I was seeing they had set up a colony and guess what if you build it they will come it's captured interests not just in California but worldwide to have them up this far up the coast is absolutely totally rare I started to learn things about measurement and taking good data I've kept track for four years of all movements all sea horses I have four notebooks each for each year of the study and in them I take information like tide water temperature UV rays what phase we are in the moon because all these things affect the sea horses to my knowledge I am the only one in the world that are tracking this particular species this way I do not get paid I Drive probably a thousand five hundred miles a month and why do I do it two reasons one for science secondly I guess it's like those wild kitties that you feed that are in your neighborhood I really liked him and we developed a relationship they liked me too I started to learn about them and realize what a superior species there's never a fighting never it's just gentle beauty and when you live with gentle beauty for long enough it starts to affect you a great deal to the point where I started saying Roger why can't you be nicer to people like these little creatures are nice to each other that's really what happened I consider myself a part of the herd a little bit bigger a lot older but yes friends [Music] you [Music]