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Home » Glass Squid: Origin, Characteristics & Fun Fact

Glass Squid: Origin, Characteristics & Fun Fact

Water creatures are a joy to know and learn about. Under the water, there is a whole wide world going about its business as humans do. Also like humans too they are different classes and species living In the water and as is normal with other habitats, there are some unique water creatures that are peculiar and different from others. It is under this class of peculiar creatures that the Glass Squid falls. 

The glass squid is a transparent sea creature family with over 50 unique species.

In this guide, we will be sharing the joy of knowing this very particular type of squid with you.

Glass Squid Organism Classification Rank

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Cephalopoda

Order: Oegopsida 

Family: Cranchiidae

What Is A Glass Squid

The Glass Squid is a transparent sea creature that lives in very deep waters (It has been spotted about 6600 ft). It was first discovered by W.E. leach in 1817 and was given its scientific name (Leachis Rienhardtis) by Steentrup in 1856.

Glass Squids (Cranchis Scabra or Leachis Rienhardtis) live their whole life flowing from the current – they tend to live majorly on the surface of the sea when they are born and go down to the depth of the sea only when they are mature enough.

Glass squid

The transparent feature of a glass squid is their most eye-catchy characteristic, while it makes them more beautiful and unique it also reduces the chance of being spotted by potential predators that are lurking around.

Characteristics of The Glass Squid

Thes creature has two short arms with a somewhat plump body, these arms connect to 4 pairs of hands – three pairs are short while a pair comes out surprisingly longer than the rest.

These creatures can cancel out their shadow thanks to their nature as Bioluminescent Organisms that possess light organs under their eyes. Their eye morphology has different varieties, from circular medium-large to stalked telescopic.

This breed of Cranchiidae can float easily as they are majorly made up of Ammonium chloride which is lighter than their habitat (Sea Water). They reach full maturity when they are about four months old and then relocate to deep waters. In whatever place these creatures find themselves, their routine is to just flow about effortlessly looking for prey and mates.

In the aspect of size – length, glass squids vary greatly. However, the highest mantle length(it is believed width is constant) of a squid is about 3m while the lowest size has been reported to be about 4cm.

You can find this creature in almost all the big water bodies of the world, especially in the mid-range depth of large waters.

Glass Squid Predators

Glass squid has several predators. However, due to the transparent nature of this squid, it avoids most of its predators. Potential predators of theese creatures include Albatross, Petrels, Short-finned Pilot Whales, and Sperm Whales.

Preys Of The Glass Squid

Glass squid feeds on Crustaceans, Small fish, and any sea creature small enough for them to eat.

Glass Squid Mantle 

The Glass Squid Mantle is a small tubercle that serves as the main body of this creature.

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Fun Facts About The Glass Squid

The Glass Squid ammonia-filled sacs help to provide buoyancy

Glass Squids are not among the ‘red lighted’ breeds i.e there is a sufficient amount of this breed and there is no fear of extinction anytime soon

These sea creatures can transform into something like a lumpy ball if the need arises. They do this by sticking their tentacles and head into their mantle cavity. This comes in handy when they are trying to hide or avoid potential predators

Females of this class of squid can use the photophores on their arms to attract males.

Surprisingly Glass Squid have the ability to turn black and blend into dark surroundings if they feel they are in danger

These creatures when threatened by danger can release ink that would change their color and also harm any predator nearby.

They spot light organs under their eyes that help them to see in the dark easily.

The Glass Squid Family 

The squid family can be divided into two major subfamilies (this was grouped by Georg Johan Pfeffer). These two subfamilies then result In 15 genera. This is their list; 

Subfamily: Chranchiinae

Genus Cranchia

Genus Leachia

Genus Liocranchia

Subfamily:  Taoniinae

Genus Bathothauma

Genus Balonella

Genus Egea

Genus Galileuthis

Genus Helicocranchia

Genus Ziguriella 

Genus Megalocranchia

Genus Sandalops

Genus Taonius

Genus Teuthowenia

The most popular squid in the family is the Cockatoo species while the largest is the colossal squid. 


Not much is known about the Glass Squid yet as it has not been well researched enough. But we have gathered enough information and made sure we give you a comprehensive description of the character, traits, and appearance of this peculiar creature. Please do well to drop any questions, our team of writers would be pleased to answer your queries. Cheers!  


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