Pistol Shrimp Fires Flash-Bang Torpedoes

The technology of the powerful forces of Nature involved in the Pistol Shrimp's hunting techniques, provide us with the knowledge and ability to comprehend the compressed air equalizer self-refilling air tank.

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 claw produces a sharp cracking sound as seawater is accelerated to velocities causing inertial cavitation, (a process where a void or bubble in a liquid rapidly collapses), producing a shock wave. Such cavitation often occurs in pumps, piping, propellers, impellers, and in the vascular tissues of plants. (And as seen in the video, by the pistol shrimp claw).    Download Video


Inertial cavitation takes place when a vacuum "bubble" is created, subsequently setting in motion Nature's forces to fill the created vacuum.

Sequence of actions involved when "Pistol Shrimp claw-created" inertial cavitation takes place within 300 microseconds --
1. claw creates a pressure zone by causing a seawater "jetting" action which accelerates a quantity of seawater to a velocity high enough to cause inertial cavitation (speeds up to 62 miles/hour (100 km/hr));
2. molecules of seawater rush into the vacuum "bubble" behind the pressure wave at speeds greater than the speed of sound, causing an audible sonic BOOM;
3. as seawater particles exceed the speed of sound, compression takes place in the "bubble" space;
4. compression of the seawater causes an instantaneous release of atomic energy in which temperatures above 8,000 degrees Fahrenheit and enormous pressure is generated, creating a visible plasma arc, which in turn, causes another compression.

When colonies of the shrimp snap their claws, the cacophony is so intense that submarines can take advantage of it to hide from sonar.

A team of European scientists revealed that the bubble emits not only sound but a flash of light indicating the extreme temperature and pressure created inside the bubbles.

Pistol Shrimp flv URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKPrGxB1Kzc

Pistol shrimp, using its special claw, creates a blast of water at speeds estimated to reach 100km/hr, causing enormous temperature spikes as much as 18,000F).

Analysis of the cycle:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONQlTMUYCW4

Free Media Viewer: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

See National Geographic News article "Snapping Shrimp Stun Prey with Flashy Bang," October 3, 2001. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/10/1003_SnappingShrimp.html



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