The amazing sea horse
The Creator offers few sights more incredible, and yet more delicately beautiful, than a living sea horse. It swims erect and slowly, with its tail twisting forward to perhaps grip a seaweed frond, while its alert eyes search for food or danger.
Sea horses make popular saltwater aquarium pets, and any public aquarium with them draws enthralled groups thronging to watch these elegant fish drifting around their tanks. Sometimes sea horses meet in midstream and tangle their curling tails. Then, just as elegantly, they uncoil them from each other and sedately swim away.
Sea horses usually live along the shore, among seaweed and other plants. They have only one mate, and generally don’t travel more than a few metres. Their size varies from about four to 30 centimetres (1½–12 inches), and they continue to grow throughout their three years of life.
There are various species of sea horses, including the dwarf sea horse (an Atlantic form smaller than any other), a brown sea horse of Europe, a large brown or blackish Pacific sea horse, and a medium-sized sea horse of Australia.
So unique is the sea horse that it is difficult to accept, as the evolutionists would like us to, that it is the product of purposeless evolutionary forces. In fact, study the sea horse carefully and you find evidence that points to its being wonderfully designed by God the Creator.
A protective bony armour cleverly protects it from imminent danger. So strong is this armour that it is almost impossible to crush a dried dead sea horse in your hands. Its tough skeleton makes it unappetizing for predators, so sea horses are usually left alone.
The female is totally enclosed in this protective armour, while the male is similarly enclosed except for the lower part of its abdomen. The armour surrounding its body often shows a number of bony rings.
The sea horse is unique among fishes in that its head is set at right angles to its body. It swims with its body held upright. It can bend its head down or up, but not from side to side. The inability to move its head from side to side would in other creatures create problems, but the Creator in His wisdom has designed the sea horse’s eyes to move independently, swivelling about to watch each side.
The sea horse uses its fins to swim vertically, and rises or sinks by cleverly altering the volume of gas within its swim bladder. If this bladder is damaged, and it loses even a tiny bit of gas, it sinks to the bottom, where it will lie helpless until death.
If the sea horse is the product of evolution, we must ask how this creature managed to survive while its bladder evolved? The whole idea of the sea horse’s complex bladder evolving by trial and error is unimaginable. Clearly, it is more reasonable to believe it was created through the work of the Master Designer.
Babies arrive by male!
Probably the most amazing, if not bizarre, aspect of the sea horse is that the male gives birth to its live young. This strange phenomenon has been known for only the past century or so.
The male has at the base of its abdomen, where it lacks armour plating, a large skin pouch and a slit-like opening. The female lays the eggs directly into this pouch, where the male fertilizes them as they are deposited.
She may continue laying eggs until the pouch is full, perhaps with as many as 600 eggs. The lining inside the pouch becomes sponge-like and filled with blood vessels which play some part in nourishing the eggs. This is an extraordinary characteristic of the male sea horse. Egg-laying complete, the dad-to-be swims off with his swollen pouch—a living baby carriage.
One or two months later he gives birth to tiny replicas of the adults. The little bundles of joy are squirted out until the pouch is empty. At times dad may use quite forceful muscular contractions to eject the last of his brood. It is an incredible sight when the young pour forth, and the process of giving birth is exhausting for father sea horse. Baby sea horses are not called ‘sea foals’—just ‘young’.
Evolution is at a loss to account for the sea horse’s reproductive functions. The whole process is simply too unorthodox. Indeed, the whole make-up of the sea horse is something of an enigma, if one tries to explain it as a product of evolution. As one authority said some years ago, ‘The “sea horse”? is in a similar category with the platypus, as far as evolution is concerned: it presents an enigma that baffles and frustrates all theories that seek to account for it! Admit the Divine Designer, and all is accounted for.’1
Fossil problem for evolutionists
Design is evident in the seahorse, but the fossil record is another problem for those who believe sea horses have evolved. The evolutionist needs fossils showing a gradual development of lower animal life into the more complex sea horse to establish that the sea horse is the result of evolutionary processes over millions of years. Unfortunately for the evolutionist, ‘fossil sea horses are unknown’.2
Like countless creatures of the sea, sky and land, there is no link connecting the sea horse to any other form of life. Like all other basic kinds of creatures, the complex sea horse appears to have been created suddenly, as the book of Genesis implies.