FromQuarkstoQuasars

Meet the Mantis Shrimp

The Mantis Shrimp packs quite the powerful punch. So powerful in fact, he can use his hammer-like claws to punch out of a glass aquarium without even breaking a nail (so-to-speak).

In one particular instance, a tiny 4-inch mantis shrimp (nicknamed Tyson) struck fear in the hearts of everyone who was nearby when the he broke through a quarter-inch thick glass, forcing his owners to relocate him to a more secure facility… perhaps a safe encased in concrete?

This shrimp has caught the attention of engineers, who are constantly striving to develop stronger materials for use in various forms of technology (as well as on the battlefield, in the medical field, and many other similar fields).

So how powerful is the punch of the mantis shrimp?

Ultimately, the mantis shrimp can punch at about 80 kilometers per hour, making it capable of obliterating its hard shelled prey by striking it more than 50,000 times at more than 10,000 times the force of gravity. After which, the small bubbles emitted will cause the water around them to boil, releasing an unbelievable amount of energy through a process called cavitation —  something that is so destructive, it can remove the stainless steel from any boat propellers that are coated with it.

Furthermore, it was found that their clubs contain a highly crystallized form of the mineral hydroxyapatite, which is a key component in human bone and teeth. Below that thick layer is more layers of hydroxapatite, in a non-crystalized form. When you get into the inner region of his club, there is chitin, which is found in exoskeletons of crustaceans. If the creature somehow lost his appendage, his body would grow another. So basically, don’t mess with a Mantis Shrimp. You might win, but you might lose a finger in the process.

For further reading/entertainment, check out this comic by “The Oatmeal.’

See The Mantis Shrimp in Action:

the mantis shrimp infogrphic

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