Filed Under: Facts About Bubbles

Snapping Shrimp Kill Their Prey With Bubbles

Bubbles aren’t usually thought of as a weapon, but that is exactly how the Snapping Shrimp uses them.


This innovative weapon is due to a phenomenon known as cavitation. The snapping shrimp (also known as a pistol shrimp) snaps its claws so quickly a jet of water is forced out at tremendous speed. In the wake of the jet or water, a low pressure bubble is formed and then immediately collapses.

When the bubble collapses, the force is enough to kill other nearby shrimp and fish.

The bubble’s collapse creates a flash of light and reaches temperatures of up to 5000 degrees Kelvin. In comparison, the sun’s surface is 5778 degrees Kelvin. So, pretty dang hot.

The sound created is loud enough to burst ear drums, and in WWII, submarines would hide out near colonies of snapping shrimp to avoid detection.

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