In 1928, a biologist named Ditlef Rustad caught an unusual fish off the coast of Bouvet Island in the Antarctic. The “white crocodile fish,” as Rustad named it, had large eyes, a long toothed snout and diaphanous fins stretched across fans of slender quills. It was scaleless and eerily pale, as white as snow in some parts, nearly translucent in others. When Rustad cut the fish open, he discovered that its blood, too, was colorless—not a drop of red anywhere. The crocodile fish’s gills looked odd as well: they were soft and white, like vanilla yogurt; in contrast, a cod’s gills are as dark as wine, soaked in oxygenated blood.