10+ amazingly transparent creatures that defy expectation–from the deep sea to the jungle!

The ocean remains largely a mystery to humans, due to its depth and vastness. But from what we do know, there are a plethora of intriguing, colorful and incredibly strange marine organisms that make up its ecosystem.

Like any ecosystem, the ocean can be a perilous place for the creatures that dwell there. For many creatures, survival depends on being able to avoid becoming a meal for larger predators. Thus, there are many sea animal that have very special mechanisms of survival; some, for example, have the unusual property of being transparent—indeed you can see right through their bodies.

Of course, there are incredible and strange creatures roaming on land too; in the depths of the tropical rain-forests for example, there are many unusual see-through species of frogs and insects.

In this article we’ll explore a few of these fascinating specimens that dwell both above and below the water.

1. Translucent sea angel snail

Surreal and ethereal, it’s hard to believe these animals are simply slugs.

Credit: NOAA Photo Library | Matt Wilson/Jay Clark

2. Salpa maggiore

Didn’t see this one coming? This clear salp can be found in the waters around New Zealand.

Credit: Imgur

3. Juvenile cowfish

The ocean has so much variance in marine life. The strangeness of these obscure glowing creatures seems to defy our comprehension.

Credit: Getty Images | Chris Newbert/ Minden Pictures

4. Ice fish

As the name suggests, they like it cold, and they have an antifreeze function so their blood doesn’t freeze in the frigid waters.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

5. Transparent immortal jellyfish

This jellyfish has a few tricks up its ‘tentacles’; it has the ability to revert to a sexually immature stage instead of dying, so this jellyfish does not fear old age, and has hence been dubbed ‘immortal’. To attempt to put that into perspective, that’s like a butterfly turning back into a caterpillar, only to be reborn again as a butterfly.

Credit: Getty Images | Yiming Chen

6. Transparent juvenile surgeonfish

Although some say this little fish can’t be real, it is, and can be found swimming off the coast of New Zealand.

Credit: Imgur | MissLissa

7. Ghost shrimp

This clear crustacean can float-by almost unnoticed among the ocean’s stands of seaweed. Despite its nearly transparent shell, its neon-yellow intestines are amazingly visible within.

Credit: Getty Images | Gary Retherford

8. Tortoise shell beetle

Appearing to be some sort of lady bug at first sight, tortoise shell beetles don a transparent  shell with varying colors and patterns.

Credit: Flickr | Charles Lam

9. Snail with a translucent shell

This snail was only discovered in 2012 and would have remained hidden if it wasn’t for a biologist’s deep cave expedition—we’re talking depths of 743 to 1,392 m under the earth—in Croatia.

Credit: Wikipedia | J. Bedek, Alexander M. Weigand

10. Glass frog

The sight of this frog’s highly visible internal organs under its green gelatin-like skin is just incredible.

Credit: Creative Commons | JurriaanH

11. La Palma glass frog

This lemon-colored translucent frog hops about in the lowland forests of South America.

Credit: Getty Images | Pete Oxford/ Minden Pictures

12. Translucent pharaoh ants

Pharaoh ants have a transparent abdomen, which makes whatever foods they have been feeding on quite obvious.

Credit: Ap Images | Mohamed Babu

13. The glasswinged butterfly

The glasswinged butterfly or simply glasswing is not your typical flashy, butterfly dazzling the eye with a spectacle of color. Glasswings present a more delicate appearance.

Credti: Creativecommons | David Tiller