What if Sea Dragons Are Real… and They Are Really Leafy!

Get curious about one of the craziest creatures under the sea!

Matthew Murrie
2 min readNov 25, 2021


Illustration of a Leafy sea dragon by Julie Benbassat from The Screaming Hairy Armadillo
Leafy sea dragon illustration by Julie Benbassat from The Screaming Hairy Armadillo

Get curious about one of nature’s most curious-looking creatures, the leafy sea dragon with this Curiosity-Based Thinking What? to Wow! from What If Curiosity and The Screaming Hairy Armadillo!

What: Although a close relative of the seahorse, the leafy sea dragon is much larger: it can grow to over 14 inches (35cm) long.

Who: Who’s preying on leafy sea dragons? No one; they have no known predators

When: When it’s time to move, the leafy sea dragon’s movements are controlled by the tiny fins on top of its head to steer it and its dorsal fins to propel it.

Where: Leafy sea dragons are only found off the southern coast of Australia in kelp, seagrass, and boulders at depths up to 150 feet (50m).

Image of a leafy sea dragon from the book, The Screaming Hairy Armadillo
Image of a leafy sea dragon from The Screaming Hairy Armadillo

How: Leafy sea dragons have no predators for a couple of reasons: a) they have camouflage that makes them tough to spot and b) they have so little meat on them, larger fish don’t find them filling enough to spot.

Why: Why don’t leafy sea dragons float away into the ocean? They use their tails to grab on and anchor them to a single spot.

Huh?: Leafy sea dragons don’t have stomachs; this is why they must constantly be eating to stay alive.

Wow!: Male leafy sea dragons take care of baby leafy sea dragons by carrying around up to 250 pink eggs before they hatch — while female leafy sea dragons swim off to live their lives.

More Curiosity: Learn more about the Leafy Sea Dragon with National Geographic.

Still curious about leafy sea dragons and other curious-looking creatures of the sea? Let your curiosity go deep with more Curiosity-Based Thinking and biomimicry activities from What If Curiosity, The Screaming Hairy Armadillo, and The Book of What If…?!



Matthew Murrie

Author of The Book of What If…?, Founder of What If Curiosity, and Creator of Curiosity-Based Thinking and Curiosity-Based Learning, turning ideas into actions.