The World’s Strongest Fist: Mantis Shrimp

7 mins read

In April 1998, an aggressive creature named Tyson shattered the very thick glass wall of his confinement cell. Fortunately, the staff who were in the vicinity recognized the situation early. The offender was quickly neutralized and then transferred to a more secure facility in Great Yarmouth.

Unlike his heavyweight namesake, Tyson was only four centimeters tall. But scientists later discovered that Tyson and all his relatives could throw one of the fastest and most powerful punches in nature. By the way, Tyson was a mantis shrimp.

Mantis shrimps, also known as mantis shrimp, are aggressive relatives of crabs and lobsters. Despite the name “shrimp”, it is not a species of shrimp, nor is it a lobster, and it has no affinity with the mantis, except for the appearance of some species. The scientists who first discovered this creature named it after other animals that it resembled in color and appearance, and these names continue to be used unchanged.

The World's Strongest Fist: Mantis Shrimp 1
The image shows a female mantis shrimp protecting her eggs between her pincers, which are deadly for many marine species.

The general name of this species is stomatopod, which is distantly related to lobsters and crabs. Stomatopods are one of the oldest animals on Earth and are thought to have been around for about 170 million years. Today, they are commonly found on coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Read:  Maksim Gorky: The Soviet Tragedy of an Idealist Writer

These creatures usually grow no bigger than 18 cm. However, the largest one ever measured was 38 centimeters long. They weigh around 600 grams. There are more than 400 species of mantis shrimp. Broadly speaking, they are divided into two main groups: Spiny ones and crushers. Spiny ones have spiny spears on their forearms and use them during hunting. Crushers, on the other hand, have more developed forelimbs with two very strong pincers. Thanks to these characteristics, mantis shrimps are highly sophisticated predators despite their small size.

The Mantis Shrimp Has the Most Powerful Fist in the World

The World's Strongest Fist: Mantis Shrimp 2
Sometimes brute force doesn’t work so well. In fact, there are many species that also prey on these animals. That’s why they prefer habitats with lots of hiding places, such as reefs and rocky areas on the seafloor.

Members of the Mantis Shrimp are known for the fists they use to catch their prey. These are known to be the most powerful fists in the world. In addition, the pincers of some members of the breaker group can close almost as fast as a 22-caliber bullet. This is particularly impressive given the considerable friction that water brings.

Read:  Iris Apfel: American fashion designer dies at 102

So fast, in fact, that it creates bubbles between the limbs and the animal it is about to hit. This doubles the impact of the strike. After the hit, the bubbles burst, releasing a shockwave that can stun prey. A mantis shrimp, meanwhile, hits its enemy or prey with a force of 60 kg. This makes it one of the animals with the most powerful fists.

These animals can even use their thick armor and powerful arms to break the glass of an aquarium. They have also been seen beating much larger fish and octopuses that were unfortunate enough to pass by their nests.

The World's Strongest Fist: Mantis Shrimp 3
The mantis shrimp also has a highly armored shell. The structure of this shell is being investigated in military research for new shield technologies. Another important feature of this suit is its well-developed eyes.

Some scientists believe that the mantis shrimp’s belligerent nature is shaped by the environment they live in. After all, in an ocean full of predators, rock crevices are important hiding places. This competition has also made these animals more intelligent than the average shrimp. They are the only invertebrates that can recognize other individuals of their species and remember a fight against a competitor for up to a month.

Read:  Iris Apfel: American fashion designer dies at 102

A Powerful Fist isn’t the Only Extraordinary Feature of the Mantis Shrimp

There are normally 4 photosensitive cells in humans. One of these is the rod cell group and the other 3 are cone cells sensitive to red, green and blue colors. In mantis shrimps, however, this number is between 12 and 16. This gives them the most sophisticated eyes in the animal kingdom. In addition, their compound eyes are not fully attached to the head, so they can rotate them and observe a wide angle.

The World's Strongest Fist: Mantis Shrimp 4
Like flies, they have compound eyes made up of thousands of tiny elements, each of which is an independent light detector. This allows them to see UV light and also polarized light, that is, light emitted in different directions.

As you can see from what we’ve outlined so far, mantis shrimps are truly extraordinary animals. Because of all their characteristics, they are among the most researched animals in the scientific world. By the way, the question “Can you eat mantis shrimp?” is frequently asked on the Google search engine. As we said, this animal is not a shrimp. We do not recommend eating it. But the choice is yours. However, keep in mind that you need to catch one first.

Ali Esen

Istanbul University, Department of Mathematics. Interested in science and technology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.