A colorful sea creature has a new fan.
Matthew Inman, creator of the Web comic, the Oatmeal, posted his latest illustration that explains why his new favorite animal is the mantis shrimp.
For those who are unfamiliar with the species, the mantis shrimps are lightning-fast predators that can pack a punch with the force of a .22 caliber bullet. Most aquariums don’t house these ocean dwellers because they typically kill their tank mates.
A lot can be learned from these tiny stomatopods. The mantis shrimp’s appendages are so strong and resilient that researchers have studied them to develop body armor for humans, the Los Angeles Times reports.
And for all the violence that’s packed into its 6- to 12-inch body, the mantis shrimp’s outward appearance is rainbow-like and completely captivating.
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The spectrum of color that blankets their bodies also illustrates an advanced sense of vision. Unlike humans, who view the world from three primary colors, mantis shrimp see colors invisible to humans, with 16 photoreceptors – the majority of which are used to distinguish colors.
“It is the Genghis Khan bathed in sherbet ice cream,” Inman says. “The mantis shrimp is the harbinger of blood-soaked rainbows. It is bright. It is dark. It is beautiful.”
Check out the Oatmeal’s viral comic on the mantis shrimp here.