Photo of seahorse holding a Q-tip goes global

Photo of seahorse holding a Q-tip goes global
Photo credit: Instagram / Justin Hofman

A photograph of a tiny seahorse clinging to a Q-tip has created ripples worldwide about the state of the world's oceans.

The Californian photographer, who has since been nominated for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award, says he wishes the photo "didn't exist".

"What started as an opportunity to photograph a cute little sea horse turned into one of frustration and sadness as the incoming tide brought with it countless pieces of trash and sewage," Justin Hofman wrote on Instagram alongside the photo, which he took while snorkelling in Indonesia last year.

"This sea horse drifts along with the trash day in and day out as it rides the currents that flow along the Indonesian archipelago."

Mr Hofman says the white blotches that can be seen in the background are plastic bags.

"What sort of future are we creating? How can your actions shape our planet?"

Close to 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the Earth's oceans each year, endangering marine and human life.

A young boy wades through ocean waste in Indonesia.
A young boy wades through ocean waste in Indonesia. Photo credit: Getty

While Mr Hofman's photo appears harmless, often marine life mistake indigestible plastic for food, or become strangled in rubbish.

The photo is also a stark reminder that no corner of the world has been left untouched by pollution.

Newshub.