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Did El Niño Bring Rare Pacific Seahorse to California Coast?

Source: Press Telegram/Andrew Edwards - February 26, 2016 in Environment

Did El Niño Bring Rare Pacific Seahorse to California Coast?
Photo: Peter Liu/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A Southern California diving enthusiast who said he has made some 1,200 excursions into the waters below Alamitos Bay succeeded in capturing photos of a rare sight — a Pacific seahorse.

“Seeing and having proof are two different things,” diver Roger Hanson said. “I was so excited to have a camera.”

Hanson, 65, who lives in Santa Ana but frequently dives below Alamitos Bay to monitor an octopus den there, said he has logged about 3,000 hours of his life underwater over the course of 27 years of scuba diving.

He said he once spent $50 for an underwater tour near Cabo San Lucas in hopes of spotting a seahorse, but saw nothing there so clearly as the bright-orange animal he spotted this past Sunday in roughly 4 feet of water just off the Long Beach coastline. Hanson said a $99 Nikon point-and-shoot camera he purchased at a Target store enabled him to obtain evidence of the encounter.

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