Seahorses are truly unique, and not just because of their unusual equine shape. Unlike most other fish, they are monogamous and mate for life. Seahorses have captured the imagination of humans for thousands of years and have a powerful presence in myth and legend.
Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, known as Neptune to the Romans, traveled in a chariot drawn by fierce seahorses with heads of a horse and tails of a fish. For more than 2,000 years, sculptures, drawings, paintings, and mosaics have depicted Poseidon’s seahorses with glorious imagination.
In Ancient Turkey around the 7th century B.C., a master craftsman from the Lydian culture made a beautiful gold broach that was placed in a tomb and not discovered again until the 1960s. It is a beautiful, classic representation of a winged seahorse. You can read details of the dramatic history of the broach, as well as other seahorse myths, in Helen Scales’ wonderful book, “Poseidon’s Steed,” on sale in the Birch Aquarium Book & Gift Shop.
Today, seahorse images are used extensively in art and decoration.Covered in diamonds, hard stones, pearls and sapphires as well. This is the type of environment where the creatures don’t try to camouflage themselves because seahorse-shaped jewels are supposed to be statement pieces.