Some animals survive by being big, powerful or simply flashy. This is not the case, as the species featured on this list survive by not being seen at all. A potential inspiration for the Invisible Man character, these animals will remind you once more that Mother Nature is way to imaginative for our comprehension.
1. Ghost Shrimp
Also known as the Glass Shrimp, this see-through crustacean lives in freshwater and is a skilled scavenger. Lunch, anyone?
2. Barreleye Fish
The bizarre fish has extremely light-sensitive eyes that roll around inside a transparent, fluid-filled shield it wears on its head. The fish’s tubular eyes are capped by bright green lenses. Creepy!
3. Glass Frog
There are several different types of glass frogs, all of which live in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. When they sit still, they’re virtually invisible to predators. How could you miss that?
4. Glasswing Butterfly
Native to Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, the Glasswing butterfly is large and features magical transparent wing panels. Flight seems improbable for these creatures.
5. Crocodile Icefish
This Antarctic fish is scaleless and eerily pale. But iit’s now known that icefish are the only vertebrates without red blood cells and hemoglobin, the iron-rich protein such cells use to bind and ferry oxygen through the circulatory system.
6. Tortoise Shell Beetle
There are several different varieties and colors of this beetle, but all share a transparent upper shell that allows it’s bright markings to show through. Cute, isn’t it?
7. Sea Salp
These tiny barrel-shaped organisms move through the water by pushing water through internal feeding filters, munching on phytoplankton as they go. Salps are known for their unique life cycle, during which they exist both as individuals (above) and part of an aggregate organism.
8. Transparent Sea Cucumber
This strange sea creature creeps along the ocean floor on its tentacles while sucking nutrient-rich sediment into its mouth The tentacles aren’t very long, so the cucumber moves pretty slowly, around 2 centimeters per minute. Now, that’s a lot of work!
9. Glass Squid
There are about 60 different species of glass squid that make up the Cranchiidae familiy. Cranchiid squid spend much of their lives in partially sunlit shallow waters, where their transparency provides camouflage. Tricky.
There are many different kinds of jellyfish that are transparent or translucent. In addition to imparting a beauty and elegance fear ocean creatures can rival, their see-through nature makes them dangerous to swimmers who might not see their stinging tentacles coming. Been there, done that!
11. Big Skate
Raja Binoculata or ‘big skate’ is often found in shallow waters. They can grow to massive size and their very pale skin reveals internal organs if you can get close enough. Does this remind you of a particular movie?
This shrimp-like creature may be tiny, but it makes up for it in extreme ferocity. Phronima’s transparent body blends into the surrounding water, so the prey never sees it’s big claws coming. What is its pray?
Discovered only a few years ago, this blue-bellied night wanderer is only a few millimeters long. It lives in a tributary to the Amazon River and features a single conical tooth in its mouth. Beautiful, isn’t it?
14. Sea Angel
This ethereal being is actually a type of sea slug. They are the real-world inspiration behind two Pokemon characters: Phione and Manaphy. Who knew, right?
15. Barton Springs Salamander
This lungless salamander makes its home in Barton Springs, a group of natural springs in Austin, Texas. It’s not found anywhere else in the world, and since it need unpolluted fresh water to survive, it’s quite endangered. Sad, but true.