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

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…

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Iori Tomita

But these animals have been soaked in chemicals until the proteins in their bodies turn clear…

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Iori Tomita

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

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Iori Tomita

… until the preserved bodies turn clear and transparent.

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Iori Tomita

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

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Iori Tomita

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

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Iori Tomita

… and Alician blue binds to the cartilage.

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Iori Tomita

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

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Iori Tomita

The technique was originally developed to study articulated skeletal anatomy.

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Iori Tomita

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

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Iori Tomita

 … they are truly works of artistic beauty!

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Iori Tomita

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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