Supposedly clean image carries a very serious message
When wildlife photographer Justin Hofman was snorkeling off the coast of Borneo, a baby seahorse soon caught his eye. However, the image the Californian then snapped was anything but beautiful. With garbage continuing to be dumped into the sea, the Indonesian island paradise is now contending with a huge environmental crisis.
"It was literally sewage," Justin remembered. "You could smell the water change. It was disgusting!" As high tide brought in swathes of floating litter, the little seahorse tried moving from one piece of garbage to the next before finally clinging onto a plastic cotton swab. "What started as an opportunity to photograph a cute little seahorse turned into one of frustration and sadness."
"It's a photo I wish didn't exist, but now that it does I want everyone to see it," the photographer added. "I hope it helps people think about what they consume, choosing things that are paper instead of plastic. If every person did their part, it would add up to a huge impact."
If we continue to treat our world with such disregard, it won't just be this tiny seahorse's existence that's at threat. Let's hope Justin's message hits home.