I love it when we think we know something and then it’s like, “not so fast…”

In this case, it was thought that there were two species of seadragons, those delicate, leafy-looking sea creatures that look like sea horses, but are bigger.

But scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Western Australia Museum (WAM), while examining seadragon samples from Australia, noticed something odd about the sample’s DNA, according to a press release.

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They asked to see a full specimen and got a faceful of discovery: it was a completely new species that was a deep red color, unlike the orangey Leafy Seadragon or the yellow-and-purple Common Seadragon.

Voila: the Ruby Seadragon.

The Ruby Seadragon here was scanned to reveal skeletal differences with other species.Scripps Institution of Oceanography

“It has been 150 years since the last seadragon was described and all this time we thought that there were only two species,” said marine biologist Nerida Wilson of WAM in the release. “Suddenly, there is a third species! If we can overlook such a charismatic new species for so long, we definitely have many more exciting discoveries awaiting us in the oceans.”

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A CT scan of the Ruby Seadragon revealed a different skeletal structure, confirming a new, third species.

There are about five Ruby Seadragon specimens in the world at this point, one of them from 1919, the press release said.

The researchers intend to mount a search expedition for more of the new species, probably deeper in the ocean than the other species, where its red color would help with camouflage in the dim light.

Below is a rotational view of the 3-D Ruby Seadragon.