Ocellated icefish live deep underwater in the cold oceans surrounding the Poles. They have clear blood. If you remember your childhood biology classes, you should remember that this kind of makes no sense. After all, blood is red because of hemoglobin — the iron-rich protein that carries oxygen around in your blood stream. No hemoglobin, no oxygen. No oxygen, dead fishies. Right? Popular Science explains how ocellated icefish get around this little conundrum.

21 Responses to “The fish with clear blood”

  1. Chentzilla says:

    It’s hemoglobin.

  2. Jodi Ralston says:

    Neat science–and a cute fish :-) 

  3. And other people spell it haemoglobin

  4. Lyle Hopwood says:

    Lots of creatures have no hemoglobin, though to be fair to the spirit of the piece, the other respiratory pigments – hemocyanin, hemerythrin and chlorocruorin - are colored, hence the name. It is interesting to see something that gets by without any of them.

  5. Boris Bartlog says:

    Seems likely to be driven by the scarcity of iron in Antarctic waters.

  6. George Braden says:

    “[S]urrounding the Poles” made me think we were talking about the Baltic.

  7. Justin Sabe says:

    And the plus side is that they won’t stain your clothes when you clean them.  (With due credit to David Letterman with a joke about clear artificial blood made about 30 years ago…)

  8. Antinous / Moderator says:

    How do we get from here to transparent aluminum?

  9. Nathan Barrett says:

    Not one minute ago I stumbled upon a video of this fish in the related bar on youtube. Creepy

  10. digitalchet says:

    During the interview, when asked how he came to be caught the fish replied “I don’t know. Me’s-a day startin’ pretty oki-day with a brisky morning munchy, then BOOM! Gettin’ berry skerred and grabbin’ that net and POW! Me’s-a here! Me-s-a gettin’ berry berry skerred!”

Leave a Reply