Girl Rescues Orange Seahorse Mistaken For A Cheeto, The Creature Turns Yellow Once She Feels Better

A little girl was walking down the Indian Shores Beach near Tampa, Florida, when she saw something she thought was a Cheeto. When she picked it up, the girl realized it was a seahorse in desperate need of help. The child put the tiny fellow into her sand bucket, filled it with water and rushed to show the seahorse to her mom.

They called the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA). After close examination, it turned out to be a female lined seahorse, a type that changes colors to match its surroundings. She must have lived in red and orange sponges before being swept to the shore – thus the orange color.

“The chances of surviving being dropped by a seagull in the sand are small,” Don Stansell, a marine biologist with CMA, told The Dodo.

“It’s amazing because all of the things happened at the exact right time and probably only in a two-minute window for her to have survived.”

A week after her rescue, the seahorse ate for the first time. She also changed her color into bright yellow to match her surroundings. The staff even set up a webcam – the seahorse recovery was streamed live on CMA’s Facbook page.