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MLA Full: "The Fastest Punch in the World." YouTube, uploaded by SciShow Kids, 13 September 2018,
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[ INTRO ].

Squeaks and I just got back from a day at the aquarium. That’s a place you can go to learn about animals, like a zoo, except it’s just for animals that live in or around water.

We saw so many cool and fascinating creatures, like penguins, otters, and all sorts of fish! But there’s one creature that we didn’t see today, even though they also live in water. It’s not because they’re too big for an aquarium, because this creature is actually pretty small!

At most, they’re only about 30 centimeters, or a foot, long. Definitely not huge! So what is this creature that I’m thinking of?

And why is it almost never in aquariums, even though it lives in water and it’s not that big? This special animal is called the mantis shrimp, and even though they’re pretty small, they’re super powerful. They punch so hard that it could actually break the glass walls in an aquarium.

So if an aquarium does want to keep one, they have to be behind really strong glass. There are two different types of mantis shrimp, which hunt their food in two different, but equally awesome ways. The first kind are known as spearers because the ends of their arms look kind of like spears, which they stick into whatever they’re attacking.

The other kind are called smashers, and they’re the ones that punch. Instead of spears, smasher mantis shrimp have clubs at the ends of their arms, which they use to punch things. And they can smash really fast and really hard.

How fast? About 80 kilometers, or 50 miles, an hour. That’s about as fast as a car zooming down the highway!

No other animal in the world can punch that fast. And a fast punch means a hard punch, too — the mantis shrimp can smash right through the shells of crabs they want to eat. Plus, remember, they’re moving through water, not air.

Imagine punching through water. It’s a lot harder than just punching the air! Mantis shrimp punch so fast and so hard that they actually make the water bubble up — and these bubbles are super hot, so hot they can really hurt, making the mantis shrimp’s punch an even better weapon.

There’s a fancy name for this process of turning water into hot bubbles: cavitation. You might be wondering why mantis shrimp are so, well, intense. Scientists think it might be because the places they like to live – little nooks and crannies in rocks – are popular with other sea creatures, too, like crabs and small fish.

So mantis shrimp really like claiming their space and saying, “Hey, this is MY space!” Don’t worry, Squeaks! I’m not like a mantis shrimp at all! I want to share this space with you, and I’m really happy you’re here!

So, back to the mantis shrimp. They reason they can punch so fast and so hard is that their arms work like springs. Springs are kind of like trampolines — if you push down on them, they push right back really fast.

That’s why you can jump so high on a trampoline! We don’t see too many springs in nature, so that makes the mantis shrimp pretty special. And, mantis shrimp can do their super-fast punching without hurting themselves.

That’s because right under their hard shell is a stretchier layer that bends instead of breaking. Besides for their punching skills, there’s something else about mantis shrimp that’s super cool: their eyesight. They can see alllllll sorts of colors and types of light that other animals can’t.

Scientists think the bodies of mantis shrimp might have colors and patterns that only other mantis shrimp can see. And, because their eyes are on stalks sticking out of their heads, they can spin them around in almost any direction, and they can even point their eyes in two different directions at once! It’s hard to even imagine what the world looks like to a mantis shrimp, but I bet it’s awesome … just like the mantis shrimp themselves.

Thanks for joining us! If you want to keep exploring our world with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button, and don’t forget to check us out on the YouTube Kids app. We’ll see you next time, here at the Fort! [ OUTRO ].