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Can You Eat a Seahorse?

Well technically, yes you can. You can eat a seahorse. It is considered a delicacy in certain parts of the world.

Just with about any animal, man will cook it just to see if it’s edible. But should you? Can eating seahorses often negatively impact your health? Let’s dig in a bit deeper and see.

We all have that friend that will eat anything. That show where they make the people eat the random bugs and live creatures, you have a friend that would totally crush it on that show. But is there anything they wouldn’t eat? What about an animal you find cute? Would you be able to eat Dory or Nemo if asked? What about a cute little seahorse?

Well, it seems quite so. About 37 million of these fun little creatures are caught every year. Though there are regulations in place to try to control this, as seahorses are a wild animal and need protection, smuggling these guys is a black market boom. It doesn’t seem to matter that they are endangered, they seem to still get smuggled around.

What is a Seahorse?

Most people think seahorses are pretty adorable little sea creatures. They can get to be up to 14 inches long but can be a tiny as half of an inch small. Seahorses can be a great addition to your saltwater tank if you take care of them properly. 

They are beautiful fish that can change their coloring to match their background. They are also a fish were the dad seahorse will carry the babies until they are ready to be born.

Fun fact!  Like humans, seahorses growl when stressed. Knowing you have something more in common with them might may you less inclined to eat them. Fish are friends, not food! Well, these guys are.

What Does a Seahorse Eat?

For most animals, what they eat determines how they taste when humans eat them. It’s like when I found out what groupers eat.  I have never been able to look at a grouper ever again as something I could eat. I was absolutely turned off. 

But what about a seahorse? Well because they do not have stomachs or teeth, they have to eat pretty tiny crustaceans, such as a variety of little shrimp. But all of the time, since, you know, no stomach. Same seahorse, same. A seahorse lives about one to four years, so that’s a lot shrimp. I’d be okay with that. 

 A baby seahorse, called a fry (oh my goodness how cute is that) needs to eat about 3,000 pieces of food a day to stay alive. Holy smokes. I’m not jealous, you’re jealous. Doesn’t really leave a whole lot of time for anything else. Grown seahorses need to eat about 30-50 times a day. Still quite a bit. Makes me not like the person who said humans should only eat three times a day. What’s up with that?

How You Can Eat a Seahorse

There are a few ways in which seahorses are consumed by people for nutritional purposes. 

  • Boiled and made into a soup
  • Boiled and made into a tea
  • Dried and used in medicines

I guess if I had to pick one, I’d rather it be ground in a medicine and no one told me what was in it. Seeing how they put seahorses in a jar waiting to be sold makes a little part of me die inside. 

Seeing the pictures of the seahorse soup almost had me in tears. If someone offered me tea and I asked what kind of brew it was, and they said seahorse, I would have to ask if they actually meant it. Now I have to screen all of my kinds of teas along with my phone calls. 

What are the Benefits of Eating Seahorses

Though there have not been actual scientific studies of the benefits eating seahorses, that hasn’t stopped countries from eating them and using them in medicines. If it ain’t broke and all of that I guess. 

  • Treat asthma
  • Treat male impotence
  • Treat male premature ejaculation
  • Helps with wheezing
  • Helps induce labor
  • Helps with general pain
  • Helps with bedwetting

Some of the benefits actually seem really useful. I’m sure there are women out there who would give anything to help their babies be born naturally. But for me, for general pain, there’s Ibuprofen for that.

Who is Eating the Most Seahorses in the World

There is definitely a trend on where the most seahorses are traded, smuggled, used, and eaten. Cultures that practice Traditional Chinese Medicine is where the majority of seahorses are ending up. Traditional Chinese Medicine might make some Westerners raise an eyebrow. In this one instance, I’m inclined to agree.

  • Thailand
  • Philippines
  • China
  • Australia
  • Indonesia

It seems if you want to try this exotic animal, these are the places where you will most likely be able to find it on the menu or sold in the local market. One seahorse can cost you around $5, and that’s on the cheap side.

We will literally eat anything won’t we? We see it, we catch it, we cook it, and if it doesn’t kill us or even make us sick, we will go back for more. Just like after watching Bambi I couldn’t even try deer. I don’t think I’d ever be able to eat an adorable little seahorse. Even when in Rome and all of that.

I didn’t see anything that said eating seahorses regularly was bad for you.