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You really, really don't want this nibbling on your toes while swimming in the ocean....

Posted by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 6:15 AM
  • 21 Replies

(shudder)




A submarine exploring the ocean's depths recently returned with an unexpected visitor: a crablike critter that has left many readers startled and horrified.

In a posting to social bookmarking site Reddit, a deep-sea technician detailed the finding, asking the site's readers to help identify what exactly the bizarre looking creature was. 

The post reads, "I work for a Sub-sea Survey Company, recently this beast came up attached to one of our ROVs. It measures a wee bit over 2.5 feet head to tail, and we expect it latched onto the ROV at roughly 8,500 feet depth. Unfortunately, the e-mail that these pictures were attached to came from a contractor, and the ship he was operating from (and therefore location) is unknown, so I can't tell you what part of the Earth this beast was living."

The pictures reveal the creature to be a giant isopod, a large crustacean that dwells in deep Atlantic and Pacific waters. This particular creature is a Bathynomus giganteus, a deep-sea scavenger that feeds on dead whales, fish and squid.

Scientists have long remarked on the massive scale of this creature. C.R. McClain wrote on ScienceBlogs explained one theory for the size, that "deep-sea gigantism, for all crustaceans, is a consequence of larger cells sizes obtained under cold temperatures," citing a research paper from 1996. 

He also speculated that "in crustaceans, bathymetric gigantism may also in part reflect decreases in temperature leading to longer lifespans and thus larger sizes in indeterminate growers."

Responses to the original post ranged from the curious to the horrified. 

One reader notes the connection between the isopod and a more familiar household pest: "The giant isopod is related to the "woodlouse"-- turns out this is the common bug that I grew up calling a "roly poly" or pillbug. Neat!"

Others were more disgusted with the crustacean. "I remember watching some documentary (Blue Planet maybe?) with a time lapse of these things swarming a whale carcass. it was horrifying," writes one reader. another 

One reader saw nothing but dinner in the flesh of the behemoth bug, writing "It could be because I really like seafood, but those isopods look tasty. Land bugs = ew! Sea bugs = mm mmm good."

by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 6:15 AM
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Replies (1-10):
heidi_val
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:12 AM

 ewwwwwwwwww

_2_8_proud-mommy-of-2-boys.gif
ANTONIO 7/11/07 & MATEO 12/10/09

RiverPhenix
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:19 AM

That is neat. When I swim in the St. Clair River I always wonder what could be lurking beneath me. LOL  Kinda gives me the hee-be gee-bees and I get out. LOL

carterscutie85
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:21 AM

I want one of those for a pet

mom2boys1997
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:34 AM

Do they roll up like a pill bug??  Is there some thing larger, but unknown in the ocean that eats these things???

I have so many questions, it makes one think....

mamapaparazzi
by Gold Member on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:37 AM

Some of those deep sea thingies are uber-creepy....

MissBearNMonkey
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:38 AM

 This is yet another reason I will only swim in warm water.

Imagine if that was a land bug????

I'd shit twice and die.

carterscutie85
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:39 AM

awww..I think he's kinda cute

Babe587
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:40 AM

yuck yuck yuck. This is why I don't swim in the ocean and in lakes. I don't go out farther then where I can touch lol It scares the crap out of me that there are things like that out there lol

mamapaparazzi
by Gold Member on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:40 AM

Then the huge bug would carry off yer remains and eatcha, lol..... (shudder!!!!!)

Quoting MissBearNMonkey:

 This is yet another reason I will only swim in warm water.

Imagine if that was a land bug????

I'd shit twice and die.


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MissBearNMonkey
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:44 AM

 They'd swarm me like a whale carcass.

Quoting mamapaparazzi:

Then the huge bug would carry off yer remains and eatcha, lol..... (shudder!!!!!)

Quoting MissBearNMonkey:

 This is yet another reason I will only swim in warm water.

Imagine if that was a land bug????

I'd shit twice and die.


 

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