Nope, this is not a giant cockroach. In fact, it’s not even an insect. So what is it?
It’s a giant isopod, a bottom dweller that lives in the depths of the ocean anywhere between 550 to 7,020 feet deep.
They’re crustaceans and distant relatives of shrimps and crabs, which are decapods. They’re also related to woodlice, which they resemble. They grow to be between 7.5 And 14.2 inches long.
But one found in 2010 measured 2.5 feet in length.
Some think their large size is an adaptation that helps them survive the pressure of living so deep underwater. Their main food source is the bodies of animals that sink to the ocean floor.
But some evidence suggests that they may be carnivores who feed on slow-moving animals like sponges.
Giant isopods have four sets of jaws that allow them to cut and tear at prey and when they eat they totally gorge since food on the ocean floor can be rare.
They also have the largest eggs out of all marine invertebrates. And their babies don’t have a larval stage so they’re born looking like full grown isopods.
We definitely wouldn’t wanna run into that face at the bottom of the ocean. Now, to the most important question.
Can you eat them and are they delicious?
Recently, the Omoshiro Aquarium in Yokohama, Japan, hosted an event where they served deep fried isopods.
Those who tried the delicacy described the taste as having a strong shrimp or crab flavor. Good to know, but I think I’ll stick to actual crab.
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