Sunday Sketch: Pray you don’t get punched by this mantis

Talk about some wild mechanics: Mantis shrimp (Order Stomatopoda) can really pack a punch! Their two forelimbs can accelerate at the same velocity as a gunshot and move so fast that the water around the limbs boils (called supercativation)! As the boiling bubbles collapse they create a shockwave that can kill prey even if they miss. The mantis shrimpʼs epic punch can break through shellfish, kill fish, and break through aquariums.

Sketch and fact contributed by Karli Chudeau.


Patek, S.N., Korff, W.L. and Caldwell, R.L., 2004. Deadly strike mechanism of a mantis shrimp. Nature428(6985), pp.819-820.

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