You’re walking through the high-altitude cloud forest of Costa Rica on a Friday morning, as you do. You trample through the underbrush, heedless of your surroundings. But suddenly, you stop. You feel… watched. You turn to run, but it is too late! You are surrounded by the alien stare of the…
And it’s curtains for you now, buddy. (Oh no! Aaaaaaagh. Aaaaaagh!)
The Ghost Glass Frog, which looks cross between Kermit and HypnoToad, is a small and weirdly adorable meme creature found across southern Central America. They live in trees, surviving on a diet of insects and are harmless to humans. Though they may hop onto your face and chirp a bunch. (Maybe don’t stare into those eyes for too long, though.)
Like all species of Glass Frog, the Ghost Glass Frog is a master of stealth. Their bright green skin makes them nearly invisible against the leaves. (But the eyes do kind of give them away.) Though their true weirdness, and their namesake, lies… *Editor’s note: pause for dramatic effect* BELOW. Their underbellies are almost completely transparent, giving us a perfect view of their guts for God only knows what reason.
*Editor’s note: write something clever here when we stop rolling on the floor making disgusted noises*
Maybe they thought a bird’s-eye view of their spleen would give most predators pause. (They were absolutely correct ew ew ew.)
Ghost Glass Frogs lay their transparent eggs (which contain their transparent children) on the edges of leaves that overhang fast-flowing streams. One or both parents stick around to protect the eggs, which is roughly equivalent of a human giving their kids a free ride through college. Pretty impressive parenting for an amphibian! When the tadpoles hatch, they drop into the water and are off to have adventures and show their internal organs to complete strangers on a fairly regular basis. In a few months they gain legs and a froggy outlook on life, at which point they hop out of the water to complete the cycle. (The frog cycle, the only cycle that matters.) Thus the circle continues, and life hops on.
1. Santiago Ron, Flickr
2. Ggallice, Wikimedia Commons