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What the Heck Is This?

OK, for today's image we'll start right off with a hint: It's something in the sea.

And another hint: If you saw this thing floating next to you, you might not know if it's a plant or animal.

Yeah, those aren't great hints. But that's all you get. Continue below for the explanation and the full image …

This is Glauerts seadragon (Phycodurus eques), a marine fish that's in the same family as seahorses.  It's also called the Leafy Seadragon, as you might imagine.

"This fish is found along the southern and western coast of Australia," say the photographers, Linda and Dr. Dick Buscher. "It gets its name from the long leaf-like outgrowths that cover its body that serve only as camouflage."

The camouflage lets this sea dragon hunt without being noticed for what it is. [Gallery: Scariest Sea Creatures]

With all these protrusions, Glauerts seadragon (Phycodurus eques) gives the illusion of floating seaweed as it hunts crustaceans, shrimp and small fish. (Image credit: Linda and Dr. Dick Buscher)

Got a strange or interesting photo related to science, nature or technology? What the Heck, send it to me, and maybe I'll use it. Or follow me on Twitter, or Facebook.

Robert Roy Britt
Rob was a writer and editor at Space.com starting in 1999. He served as managing editor of Live Science at its launch in 2004. He is now Chief Content Officer overseeing media properties for the sites’ parent company, Purch. Prior to joining the company, Rob was an editor at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, and in 1998 he was founder and editor of the science news website ExploreZone. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.