The loudest thing in the ocean is the shrimp layer. Trillions of shrimp bob about together, which creates bubbles, the popping of which on such a huge scale keeps people awake, whites out submarine sonar systems and deafens sonar operators through their headphones. Submarines above the shrimp layer can’t hear anything below it, and vice versa.
The noise of collected shrimps can reach 246 decibels in the water, which is the equivalent to about 160 decibels in air - considerably louder than a 747 plane taking off.
I shall be but a shrimp of an author.
In Greenland, shrimps are known as 'pink gold'.
Scientists at an Oregon University have built a running machine in a tank of water in order to measure the activity levels of a 'jogging' shrimp. They found that the four-inch long shrimp could move at speeds of 66 feet per minute and that it was able to continue for three hours before needing a rest. Professor David Scholnick, of the Pacific University in Oregon, said that the team had put a sick shrimp on the machine first and then compared its performance with that of a healthy one. As he said, 'A shrimp dealing with an infection is less active and limited in its ability to migrate, find food, and avoid being eaten.' Which seems reasonable to us.
Despite their name, mantis shrimps are not actually shrimps but related crustaceans. They are, however, very interesting. They are able to accelerate through water at up to 10,000 times the force of gravity, creating a pressure wave that boils the water in front of them: they hit their prey with the force of a rifle bullet. Their 'punch' is one of the fastest movements in nature. Some big mantis shrimps have been known to break out of aquarium glass with one strike of their claw.
There are two kinds of mantis shrimps: smashers and spearers. Smashers use their big club to smash their meals apart and so eat snails, crabs, molluscs and oysters. Spearers have barbed claws and so eat fish they can slice and snag.
Mantis shrimps are able to see objects with three different parts of the same eye and have ‘trinocular vision’ so, unlike humans who perceive depth best with two eyes, these animals can do it perfectly well with either one of theirs. They see not only the 'visible' part of the spectrum but also infra-red, ultraviolet, polarised light and even circularly-polarised light; they are the only animal known to be able to see this light.
The best thing about their circularly polarised eyes is that three species of mantis shrimps also reflect circularly polarised light. In other words, they can send courtship signals to each other that are totally invisible to every other animal on the planet.
Shrimp may do us a lot of good in future if we can bring ourselves to eat them. Krill are a kind of tiny shrimp, and blue whales, the largest animals on the planet, enjoy a diet consisting exclusively of krill. Krill are exceptionally nutritious for people as well as whales, but have never been widely harvested for human consumption. If they were, the annual krill catch could exceed the weight of all the fish caught every year in the world.
In Soviet Russia, krill paté was marketed as Ocean Paste, but it never really caught on.
The eggs of brine shrimp can stay unhatched for five years, but as soon as they get wet they hatch in a few hours.
There is no zoological difference between a shrimp and a prawn. The words are often used interchangeably.
Though individual krill are tiny, an average shoal of them weighs 100 million tonnes.
No one knows where the word 'prawn' comes from. There are no similar words in other languages.