When a friend showed this video to me, I simply could not believe that what I was seeing was real, but it is. (skip to :50 for the action)
Among the fascinating creatures of the deep is a finger-size shrimp with an oversize claw—resembling a boxing glove—that it uses to stun its prey by snapping the claw shut. The snapping produces a sharp cracking sound.
When colonies of the shrimp snap their claws, the cacophony is so intense that submarines can take advantage of it to hide from sonar.
When the claw snaps shut, a jet of water shoots out from a socket in the claw at speeds of up to 62 miles (100 kilometers) an hour, generating a low-pressure bubble in its wake. As the pressure stabilizes, the bubble collapses with a loud bang.
The whole process, which was recorded with the use of high-speed cameras and sound equipment, occurs within 300 microseconds.
Now, using a device that counts photons, Lohse and his colleagues recorded a flash of light that occurs when the bubble collapses.
The flashing phenomenon is thought to be similar to sonoluminescence, in which bubbles that are in a liquid driven by a strong sound field emit light. The researchers have dubbed the shrimp activity shrimpoluminescence.
In sonoluminescence, the peak intensity of the emitted light is at a short wavelength. This indicates that the temperature inside the bubble is at least 10,000 degrees Kelvin (18,000 degrees Fahrenheit).
This shrimp is seriously insane, and just a little bit scary. It may be only the size of my thumb, but it makes me wonder what other types of crazy things are out there. Frogs that shoot laser beams out of their eyes perhaps? After seeing this I wouldn't be that shocked if there were.