Say Hello To The Kryptonians Living Among Us
Take a good long look at the picture above. Go on. Stare at it for a whole minute.
Now tell me, do you feel an uncomfortable feeling gnawing at the pit of your stomach? Do you feel an unnatural feeling of dread enveloping your very being? Do you feel afraid, puny human?
You should. Because the creature up there is no ordinary shrimp.
The ancient Assyrians called them “sea locusts”, the Australians (those courageous citizens of nopeland) refer to them as “prawn-killers” and the folks who were too brave or too stupid to handle them bare-handed call them “thumb-splitters.”
For they are the Mantis Shrimp, the genetic destiny of all shrimpkind. They are the ones who will stake their claim upon our planet as the strongest of all species. When the dust is settled and all of humanity is reduced to ashes, the most dominant of all creatures will be. . . the Mantis Shrimp.
Oh, I can see you laughing. You say, surely, Sachin, you’re out of your mind. You need to take your meds, and maybe cut down on the weed a little. And if you’re really going to use something to herald the end of the world, you should try finding something that doesn’t look like a decorative piece at a hipster party.
For that’s what the Mantis Shrimp looks like, doesn’t it? Just another one of those thousands of species of brightly colored denizens of the deep. What’s it gonna do, wave its claws at us?
You’re wrong. You’re so very wrong.
Despite their rather attractive appearance, Mantis Shrimp (there’s a reason I’m respectfully capitalizing those letters) are hardly the kind of creatures you want in your homes. They are almost impossible to house in aquariums because they usually kill all the other creatures in their tank.
They do this by making extensive use of the two club-shaped appendages near their face, which can punch out faster than a .22 caliber bullet (acceleration of 102,000 meters per square second and speeds of 23 meters per second from a standing start) to smash and break apart their prey (usually mollusks and crabs) and even glass. They punch with such great force that the surrounding water boils in a process known as supercavitation. The bubbles caused by this supercavitation collapse instantly, but not before giving off a shockwave of heat (thousands of Kelvins high) and light (sonoluminescence) to confuse and boil the prey. If we could generate the same amount of force as the Mantis Shrimp, we could easily throw small objects into orbit. Heck, we could probably send stuff around us flying simply by swinging at the air.
Don’t believe me? See it for yourself.
I’ll give you a minute to collect your jaws off the floor.
Sadly, the Mantis Shrimp’s amazing strength isn’t the only reason to fear it. Their eyesight is also the most complex in the entire animal kingdom. To put it in prospective, we humans have 3 color-receptive cones in our eyes that allow us to see green, red, and blue, along with all the color combinations these three colors make. This means that our visible spectrum is fairly limited, i.e, the colors of the rainbow. The Mantis Shrimp, on the other hand, has 16 color-receptive cones.
That’s right. Sixteen.
Just take a moment to let that sink in. This monster of a shrimp has 13 more color-receptive cones in their eyes, meaning they can see thirteen colors we can’t even imagine, plus all the color combinations those unimaginable colors can make. Not only that, but they have three focal points in each of their eyes, giving them hexnocular vision when compared to us humans who only have one focal point in each eye, giving us binocular vision. Furthermore, their eyes are on long stalks, giving them a very wide range of motion (nearly 360 degrees). Finally, the mantis shrimp’s eyes can even pick up infrared and ultraviolet light, and some have just been discovered that can pick up polarized light, which is something no other animal on earth can do. Basically, these shrimp can see everything and anything while being doped up on an explosion of colors, so I guess it’s no wonder they go around killing everything.
So, to summarize: the Mantis Shrimp is decked out in primary colors, can literally punch through walls and has all sorts of awesome vision powers. Who else do we know who’s capable of that?
In hindsight, it’s fairly obvious what’s going on here: when Krypton was destroyed, the parents of the first Mantis Shrimp (probably named Shrimp-El) sent him to earth in a spacecraft. Only, instead of landing in a lake in Kansas, he ended up landing near the beaches of Florida, where his first contact with humanity was a fisherman named Chad.
Without going into all the details, lets just say he’s not going to be fighting for truth, justice and the American way anytime soon.
For centuries now, the Mantis Shrimp and his ilk have lying beneath the surface of the sea, ready to unleash their wrath upon us weak defenseless creatures. We can only pray that, when the time comes, some reclusive billionaire orphan who enjoys cosplaying as a bat will come to our aid.
I know I’m taking a huge risk revealing this to the general audience, but it’s something that had to be done. The conspiracy of the Shrimp from Outer Space had to be brought to light. Even as I write this, I’m fairly sure they’re tracking me down. . .
Wait. What’s that noise?
WTF!? Something’s trying to break down my door!
Alright, I’m getting out of here. If I live through this, I’ll update this post with instructions on surviving the impending shrimp apocalypse. Also, I’d really appreciate it if anyone has a few spare kilograms of kryptonite lying around, or at least knows where I can find some.
PS: My book “The Shrimp from Outer Space” will be up for preordering on Amazon soon. At least, as soon as I can. . . Jerry, watch out!
PPS: HOLY SHIT! THESE *$!@#%%^&#^#@* HAVE HEAT VISION!!!
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