The Most Astounding Transparent Animals

Published October 30, 2012
Updated November 9, 2023

Nature's most incredible gems aren't the ones you can see, but rather those you cannot.

The Most Astounding Transparent Animals: Barreleye Fish

Transparent Animals

The first photos of this strange fish alive and in its natural habitat were not published until 2004, although the species has been recognized since 1939. Found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans at a depth of between 600 to 800 meters, there are 14 different types of Barrelfish. Their most salient feature? Their weird eyes and their completely transparent head.



In the wild Zebrafish grow up to be stripped and opaque, but researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston have bread specimens that stay transparent their whole life. Used in cancer research, amongst other things, these clear Zebrafish allow scientists to see what’s going on inside without dissection.

Hooded Nudibranch

Found among kelp forests and sea weed along the North American West Coast, this strange carnivorous sea slug is sometimes called the Lions Mane Nudibranch. Apparently, if you take one out of the water it smells a bit like fruit.

Astounding Transparent Animals: Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp is the common name given to any kind of see-through shrimp, and because of their appearance, they have been very popular with aquarium owners the world over. They are also sold as live feed for fish that–like many individuals with discerning taste–find shrimp delicious.

Glass Frogs

Glass Frog

Usually small and green when viewed from the top, the glass frog family (Centrolenidae) range from the tropical forests of Southern Mexico to Northern Argentina. From underneath, their transparent skin reveals their circulatory system, internal organs, and whatever they ate for lunch.

If you enjoyed reading about the most astounding transparent animals, you should read the world’s most astounding living fossils and the world’s weirdest animals!

Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
Citation copied
Cite This Article
Cox, Savannah. "The Most Astounding Transparent Animals.", October 30, 2012, Accessed May 26, 2024.