This Savage Mantis Shrimp Hides in the Sand So That it Can Stab Fish and Bury Them

By Casey Chan on at

Damn. Mantis shrimp are crazy. They can strike prey as fast as a .22 calibre bullet, but this other stabbing technique some mantis shrimp use to kill is scary dark.

The little critters hide their body up to their eyes in the sand as they wait for a fish to swim by. When a poor fish gets close, the mantis shrimp shoots its body out of the sand, impales the fish with serrated blades, and then drags the fish back into the sand with it. All this happens in a matter of seconds, so it’s almost like the fish just disappeared.

Of course, deep savagery aside, the mantis shrimp is also an awesome creature. Its eyes have six pseudopupils and 12 color receptors, we only have two pupils and three colour receptors. But beyond that, what’s really impressive is their ability to see polarisation. Deep Look explains:

Mantis shrimp can perceive the most elusive attribute of light from the human standpoint: polarisation. Polarisation refers to the angle that light travels through space. Though it’s invisible to the human eye, many animals see this quality of light, especially underwater.

But mantis shrimp can see a special kind of polarisation, called circular polarisation. Scientists have found that some mantis shrimp species use circular polarization to communicate with each other on a kind of secret visual channel for mating and territorial purposes.

In other words, their eyes are so damn good that they’re capable of a whole secret language. Scientists are actually using the mantis shrimp’s brand of polarisation to sniff out cancer. Watch in the video below: