Nature can be beautiful and confounding at the same time. The more we observe and appreciate the evenness and anomalies present in nature, the more dumbstruck are we. Some of the members of the animal kingdom possess bodies, which are transparent. This unique property is as awe-inspiring as the Invisibility Cloak owned by Harry Potter!
Here is a list of the species of animals with transparent bodies.
10. Glass Catfish
The Asian glass catfish also known as the phantom catfish is a remarkable organism and is counted as one of the most transparent vertebrates existing on earth. Most organs of this fish are located close to the head and with the aid of a magnifying glass; the hearts of these fishes can be seen beating. They are found in slow-moving streams throughout Malaysia Thailand and Indonesia. After the death of these fishes, they change from transparent to a morbid milky white color. These catfish prefers tanks with open swimming areas and planted areas to provide shelter to it. These fishes are nonaggressive and should be housed with five or more others of the same species. Additionally, they can be kept with fishes of smaller size and matching temperament.
Jellyfishes are common creatures that are found in every ocean and have swum the earth’s waters for at the least 500 million years. Many different types of jellyfish that are transparent or translucent exist. On the downside, in addition to imparting beauty and uniqueness that very few aquatic organisms can rival, their transparent bodies renders them dangerous to swimmers who might overlook their stinging tentacles that approach towards them.
8. Ghost Shrimp
The ghost shrimp is also known as the Glass Shrimp and is a popular aquarium member. Its natural habitat is the brackish water found in wetlands. The organism is a skilled scavenger. They are cheap and efficient aquarium cleaners that actively hunt for any kind of leftover food in the water tank. Their transparent bodies and food-searching behavior makes the Ghost Shrimp an interesting addition to the aquarium. Ghost shrimps readily breed in the aquarium provided it is being kept in large enough herds. The female shrimp carries the eggs, which can be made out as they appear as green dots under the tail.
7. Barreleye Fish
This is a type of transparent-headed fish, inhabiting the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans at a depth of 1100 meters. The telescoping eyes in the transparent barrel-shaped head seclude it totally from other fishes. These highly sensitive eyes can sense predators easily. This intriguing fish has eyes that are barrel-shaped or tubular and are extremely light sensitive. They are directed upward to sense the silhouette of the prey. The transparent head and tubular eyes help them determine any incident light in the great ocean depths. The eyes of the barrelfish are cased within a transparent domed head. This feature allows the fish to capture maximum light. Barreleye fishes attain up to a maximum size of 6 inches and prefer to remain stationary within the water and feed on jellies. The luminous organs of the barrel fish glow due to the symbiotic bioluminescent bacteria present in them. There are two spots above the fish’s mouth, which could be mistaken for eyes. However, these are actually olfactory organs of the fish called nares (much similar to human nostrils).
6. Glass Frog
This amphibian is truly unique and is unlike the other members of the frog family. It has a transparent underbelly that allows you to visualize a fully visible functional system of organs. These organisms are nocturnal. They grow to a mere 2–8 centimeters and reside in the canopies of the Central and South American rainforests. When they rest still, it is extremely difficult to spot these glass frogs from a distance, owing to the transparency of the body.
5. Glasswing Butterfly
The beautiful and unique Glasswing butterfly is native to Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. It has features like huge transparent wing panels. The Spanish name ‘espejitos’ means ‘little mirrors’. Adult glasswing butterflies will often travel and migrate great distances, the male’s lek, or gather in big groups for competitive mating displays.
4. Crocodile IceFish
This ghostly and white-blooded Antarctic fish has blood-lacking hemoglobin. It is deemed as the only known vertebrate that has no red blood cells and hemoglobin (which is the iron-rich protein that helps in binding and transporting oxygen through the circulatory system). The loss of hemoglobin was earlier thought to be an adaptation to the extreme cold. The higher solubility of oxygen reduces the demand on hemoglobin and the lack of red blood cells decreases the blood viscosity. However, recent analysis has shown that the lack of hemoglobin, though not dangerously fatal, is still maladaptive. These fishes have clearly evolved drastic changes to their physiology to compensate for such functioning. These compensations include using twice as much energy than required during pumping of blood as compared to other fishes.
3. Transparent Sea Cucumber
This sea creature lives at great depths of the ocean of about 2,750 meters, on the ocean floor. It crawls forward using its many tentacles at a rate of about 2 centimeters per minute and sweeping into its mouth detritus-rich sediment. This unique looking organism has a transparent body, unlike other sea cucumbers.
2. Glass Slug
Gaeotis flavolineata, or what is commonly known as the glass slug, is a gastropod, which has a clear slimy body and a bright green shell, smaller than what can accommodate the organism. It is assumed to have evolved to become too small for it to go back into its shell fully. Thus, it can be considered as an organism halfway in between a slug and a land snail.
1. Glass Octopus
The ghostly octopus is found in the depths of the open tropical and subtropical waters across the globe. Scientists are deficient in information regarding this creature due to the fact that they are rarely captured, physically or on film. Unlike the other opaque members of the octopus family, these creatures have elongated eyes that appear as if pointed perpetually upwards. This is assumed to help in maximizing the dim light incident from above.