How Do Fish Survive Arctic Water?

During the cold season, bodies of water began to form into ice, yet aquatic creatures can survive because of the special features they have on their bodies. Amazingly, the Arctic Waters have been a great support to those who dwell in it for about a million years already, making it possible for aquatic creatures to survive and adapt to its cold temperature.

How do fish survive arctic water? There are certain factors as to why fishes are able to survive in Arctic Water. When it comes to their bodies, they have special anti-freeze features and proteins that could reciprocate the temperature of the water and its molecules. 

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In this article, you’ll be able to learn the unwinding question as to how fishes can survive in the cold Arctic water and other factors for their survival.

The Chemistry in the Fishes’ Bodies

Most of the major factors include the nutrients and features of the fishes’ body. Here is the list below:

Antifreeze Features

It’s never a denial that their bodies have special coverings, such as having a natural antifreeze in their bodies. For instance, the freezing point of any fish blood would be around 30.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Then it automatically adjusts to the temperature of the ice.

Special Antifreeze Protein

Researchers discovered that fishes have a frost-protection protein in their blood. On their observation, they’ve noticed that water molecules are just dancing around the fish’s bloodstream regardless of the water temperature, making them adapt well. This protein also serves as a prevention of freezing to other living organisms. One of the organizations that were funded to prove this point is the Volkswagen Foundation, which discovered that a single binding did not attain the antifreeze activities.

The Chemistry in the Water

Scientists have their ways of finding out some information using advanced scientific tools that can see molecule activities, which will be discussed below.

The Temperature Of The Water Below

Although the waters on top are filled with solid ice, yet as you swim deeper, the water temperature is getting warmer. In that case, normal activities are still observed by the fish, only except when they go up. Scientists installed a KIBO experimental module, in which they can keep records of their experiments. There were a total of 124 experiments being conducted, and only 22 experiments were able to measure the growth rates of ice crystals successfully.

The Dancing Water Molecules

The normal temperature of the Arctic water is around 28.8 to 30.4 degrees Fahrenheit, so scientists developed a special technique where they can monitor the movement of water molecules. As mentioned earlier, among the things that can make the fishes adapt to coldness is because of its special proteins in their bodies. With the presence of these proteins, the water molecules seemed to be dancing and disturbing that they can’t form ice crystals.


To conclude, it is only fantastic to think that fishes have special abilities to keep themselves alive during the cold season. For essential information about this interesting topic, you can search it over the internet. However, even if scientists already answered this, yet this phenomenon remained a big mystery for many years.