This video proves it’s alive. Scientists have known since 2015 that the ruby seadragon existed based on DNA analysis of 100-year-old museum specimens but it’s never been seen, much less caught on video, until now.
The earlier specimens had been provided to Scripps Institution of Oceanography by Western Australia Museum. In April 2016, Scripps and WAM launched an expedition off the coast of Australia’s Recherche Archipelago to see if they could find the ruby seadragon in the wild. They sent a remote-operated vehicle down 150 feet for what seemed like a very slim chance of spotting one.
And yet … the scientists had the unexpected thrill of observing the mysterious creature for a full 30 minutes as it went about its business. An obviously delighted member of the expedition, Josefin Stiller, told Quartz, “The discovery showed us that we can still find big, charismatic, bright red fish that no one has ever seen before.”