Home » Bizarre: Preserved Animals Soaked in Chemicals Until Their Bodies Turn Clear

Bizarre: Preserved Animals Soaked in Chemicals Until Their Bodies Turn Clear

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This Japanese scientist has perfected the process of soaking specimens in chemicals until their bodies turn clear and transparent. It’s a technique originally developed to study articulated skeletal anatomy, and the results have more than just scientific value – they are truly works of artistic beauty!

At first glance, these may look like colorized X-Rays…

 

But these animals have been soaked in chemicals 

until the proteins in their bodies turn clear…

 

The chemicals break down the muscles and tissues in their bodies…

 
 

… until the preserved bodies turn clear and transparent.

 
 

The process relies on an enzyme called trypsin which digests the pigment in skin.

 
 
 

A dye called Alizarin red is used to stain the bones by adhering to calcium deposits…

 
 

… and Alician blue binds to the cartilage.

 
 

 

The results are suspended in fluid and preserved in full transparency.

The technique was originally developed to study articulated skeletal anatomy.

 
 

But these images from Iroi Tomita have more than just scientific value…

 
 

 … they are truly works of artistic beauty!

 
 
Check out Iori Tomita online for more details about this process. If you’d like to purchase one of these specimens, you’re unfortunately out of luck, as he only sells within Japan. If you happen to be the neighborhood, you can buy them for 2,000 – 20,000 yen, which translates to about $20 – $200. The specimens he sells are usually fish, squid, and shrimp. Rare or larger specimens in a higher price range are only sold at exhibitions.
 
 

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