I was blown away listening to RadioLab today. The latest story was about the Snapping Shrimp. This shrimp has an amazingly powerful claw. Truly. Amazingly powerful.
When this shrimp 'snaps' its claw it has the following properties.
1. It is so loud it kills fish
The snapping shrimp competes with much larger animals such as the sperm whale and beluga whale for the title of loudest animal in the sea. The animal snaps a specialized claw shut to create a cavitation bubble that generates acoustic pressures of up to 80 kPa at a distance of 4 cm from the claw. The pressure is strong enough to kill small fish. - Wikipedia
2. It generates tremendous heat
The snap can also produce sonoluminescence from the collapsing cavitation bubble. As it collapses, the cavitation bubble reaches temperatures of over 5,000 K (4,700 °C). In comparison, the surface temperature of the sun is estimated to be around 5,800 K (5,500 °C) - Wikipedia
This two-minute video demonstrates the power of the snap! (Including killing a small fish.)
RadioLab is a great program. It is absolutely worth the time to listen to the episode below (or download it and listen later).
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