Sea snakes are a striking sight on the sun-dappled Pacific and Indian Ocean coral reefs they call home. They swim with deliberate, yet graceful winding movements above the reef, and they are often conspicuously-coloured, with many species sporting patterns flush with yellows, oranges and blues, broken up by stripes, blotches and spots. This scaly skin, delicately painted by evolution, is part of what makes encounters with them so memorable. However, one species of sea snake — the turtle-headed sea snake (Emydocephalus annulatus) — is losing its captivating stripes. The culprit behind this robbery? Pollution.