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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Student Essay - Which animal fascinates you the most and why? – by Byun Wan Joo, Year 10, Sayfol International School

Which animal fascinates you the most and why? – by Byun Wan Joo, Year 10, Sayfol International School

There are about 8.7 million different kinds of marine life, from the gigantic blue whale to the tiny plankton that causes the sea water to become green. Marine life fascinates me as we know little about it. Most unexplored places on earth are beneath the sea. As a matter of fact, marine biologists have only just started to understand the environment of the very deep seas. From the 8.7 million different kinds of marine life we know so far, the Mantis shrimp intrigues me the most.

First of all, the Mantis shrimp is able to see more than any other kind of animal. Human eyes can only produce two images and merge them to form a single picture, but a Mantis shrimp can produce six images. Each of the shrimp’s eyes is capable of producing three images and the shrimp can also clean its eyes with two cloth-like arms. These six images can merge to form two pictures. Additionally, humans can only see in three colour lengths, while these creatures can see in nine colour lengths. Imagine six more colours you have never seen before! Therefore, the Mantis shrimp’s ability to see interests me a lot.

Secondly, Mantis shrimps have the most unique way of hunting their prey. They have two limbs with wrecking-ball-like structures at the end of them. With these, they can crack open the shells of crabs, lobsters and even clams. They have the fastest punch in the world with speeds that are the same as a 22 calibre bullet travelling through the air. These punches are so fast that they cause cavitational bubbles to form, creating a shockwave. Thus, their unique way of hunting interests me.

Lastly, Mantis shrimps live in one of the most-feared and mysterious places on earth. Found on the ocean floors of the Mediterranean, they have adapted to life in harsh conditions. They have learnt ways to dig holes with their limbs and stay motionless for days to conserve energy. They are prehistoric creatures that are believed to have existed since the ice age. Moreover, they have a colourful shell that can withstand enormous pressure. Scientists say that the colourful shell helps them hunt as it will momentarily stun fishes. Therefore, the Mantis shrimp’s generations of evolution makes it a fascinating creature. 

Because of their unique way of seeing things, its powerful punches and their years of adaptation, the Mantis shrimp has easily become my favourite animal.

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