The mantis shrimp is one of the most incredible creatures found in our oceans. Over millions of years, it has equipped itself with an arsenal to rival that of any other organism, besting the limits of human technology on more than one front.
Firstly, it packs the biggest punch of any predator, with a sophisticated muscle mechanism allowing acceleration in excess of 102,000 m/s2 to be attained and a speed of 23 m/s from a standing start, about the acceleration of a .22 calibre bullet. Because they strike so rapidly, they generate cavitation bubbles between the appendage and the striking surface.
The collapse of these cavitation bubbles produces measurable forces on their prey in addition to the instantaneous forces of 1,500 newtons that are caused by the impact of the appendage against the striking surface, which means that the prey is hit twice by a single strike; first by the claw and then by the collapsing cavitation bubbles that immediately follow.
With this ability to create extreme low pressure behind it’s extended arm, causing the water to spontaneously boil, no prey stands a chance. This action releases intense energy, enough to break sheets of glass. Even if the initial strike misses the prey, the resulting shock wave can be enough to kill or stun the prey.
Additionally, the mantis shrimp has the most sophisticated and extensive eyes of any known creature. With their unique shape and composition, the shrimp can see in most directions simultaneously, as well as observing more of the spectrum than us humans, both at the infra-red and ultra-violet ends.