Pistol Shrimp Claw In Slow Motion

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Justine Alford

Guest Author

clockSep 1 2014, 12:17 UTC
1972 Pistol Shrimp Claw In Slow Motion
budak, IMG_0802, via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

We all know that the claws of the unassuming mantis shrimp pack a punch, to say the least, but they’ve got a feisty competitor for the award of most badass crustacean: the pistol shrimp.

The pistol shrimp, or snapping shrimp, sports a giant claw that can snap shut at speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph). They snap this claw so fast that it produces a loud noise accompanied by a cavitation bubble where water should be. There is so much negative pressure inside this bubble that the water crashes back down, kicking out a serious amount of heat and light. Earth Unplugged managed to capture some cool footage of these powerful claws in action, check it out in slow motion here: 




  • tag
  • mantis shrimp,

  • pistol shrimp,

  • snapping shrimp