Scientists drilling at a great depth in a Greenland iceberg have discovered an unusual creature - a fish-snail, in the veins of which flows a glowing green antifreeze, writes Live Science. 

The researchers reported the "highest expression levels" of antifreeze proteins ever reported in the young variegated specimen of the Liparis gibbus species.

Antifreeze is known to help regulate the temperature of a car engine in extreme conditions.

Some species living in cold regions have evolved similar defense mechanisms.

Scientists have found that fish from the North and South Pole have acquired similar properties independently of each other.

Polar fish produce specific proteins that then enter the bloodstream.

The proteins in question attach to the surface of small ice crystals and slow or prevent them from turning into larger and more dangerous crystals.

This mechanism is vital for fish because they, unlike some cold-blooded reptiles and insects, cannot survive if their body fluids freeze, explains study co-author David Gruber of the American Museum of Natural History.

The scientists note that the snail fish they discovered is distinguished from its relatives, as it glows in bright green and red colors.

This is the first case of bioluminescence in polar fish that are forced to experience long periods of darkness.

This characteristic is usually seen in tropical species.

Representatives of the species Liparis gibbus are also distinguished by their small size, but despite this they have managed to adapt to one of the coldest environments on Earth.

These snail fish live in the crevices of icebergs.

During the study, the scientists identified two different families of genes encoding the antifreeze proteins.

This "astonishing" level of natural protection has allowed the species to survive on Greenland's icebergs.

However, it is still not clear whether this fish can survive in the rapidly warming world, adds BTA. 


glowing fish