Skip to main content

Are These Fish Really Shooting Blue Lasers?

These small translucent fish may not be actually shooting blue lasers from their mouths, but the truth is just as fascinating.

The blue lights that can be seen escaping the fish’s mouth are actually small creatures called ostracods. An ostracod is a tiny creature similar to a shrimp, and they have developed an amazing technique to defend themselves.


When they are mistakenly eaten by the translucent cardinalfish as the fish forage for krill, the ostracods immediately activate their bioluminescent ability; they begin to glow a bright blue light. This light shines through the translucent skin of the cardinalfish.

The fish then becomes an easy target for predators.


In order to avoid being eaten themselves, the cardinalfish spits out the ostracod, creating the stunning effect seen in the images. It truly is incredible how certain creatures have evolved to survive in their respective environments. The ostracod is just another great example of how amazing nature can really be.


The translucent cardinalfish and ostracods were featured in a BBC animal documentary that has since been removed from YouTube. Thanks to io9 for saving the images from the video prior to its removal.

More Great Wide Open Spaces Content:

Do you know of any other incredible survival techniques in the animal kingdom? Let us know in the comments section below.

sweep-article-footer-GOPRO (4)

you might also like

Are These Fish Really Shooting Blue Lasers?