Ok, today I was feeling quirky so I picked a cool subject… (and it ties into the overall theme of this blog so there we go.) This week’s topic is on a small creature that packs a surprising punch – the snapping shrimp.
Shrimp – a pretty boring, bottom of the food chain, (delicious with pasta) crustacean. Some can be cool colors, and they look pretty funky, but most people don’t know much more about them other than if they taste good or not. So today we are going to *dive* into the world of marine biology and explore one of God’s pretty amazing creatures.
The snapping shrimp, also known as the pistol shrimp, looks like any other shrimp except for one unique quality. One of its claws is supersized; it’s almost half the length of its body. And this isn’t just any claw, it’s basically a superpower.
Say you’re just you’re average, floor-of-the-coral-reef sea prey just minding your own business. Then all of a sudden – you have no business anymore. You’re dead. You don’t even know what hit you…and something did, of course. You can blame the snapping shrimp and its super claw. This claw has the ability to close so fast that it creates a low-pressure zone, drawing in already-present air bubbles. Then when the pressure returns to normal, the bubbles collapse, creating a sound far louder than a gunshot at 210 decibels (guns average around 150.) The bubble pressure zone travels at an incredible 105 meters per second toward its target, a speed so fast that the victim is either knocked out or instantly killed. (Personally, I would hope for the later.)
But not only does the bubble act as a sniper bullet, it’s collapse causes the temperature of the water around it to jump to 8,000 degrees Fahrenheit for a split second. In other words, the force temporarily increases the water to around the same temperature as the surface of the sun…and this all happens at the snap of the shrimps’ fingers…or claw. Needless to say, your insignificant bottom dweller didn’t have a chance.
Another interesting tidbit about the snapping shrimp is its knack for companionship. The shrimp is known to form symbiotic relationships with several different creatures. One species team up with a fish called a goby. The two creatures share a burrow and use their specific skill sets to survive. The goby uses its senses to detect predators. When one approaches, the goby calls the shrimp to fight it off. Another relationship is with other snapping shrimp. One species of these shrimp are the only creatures in the ocean that operate like a hive. The queen and the king shrimp breed, forming the colony, and the rest act as hired soldiers. If a threat arises, the workers start snapping their claws in time to call their comrades, then they all use their super-bubbles to fight off whatever is threatening their safety. It’s quite the system.
But now let’s look at the flip side: where is our God connection?
Here’s what I see. On the outside, this creature is a measly little shrimp with what could be considered a growth deformity. But if you look a bit deeper, this tiny dude is equipped with a perfect (and pretty otherworldly) skill set for its environment.
In the same way, we may be self-conscious about a particular quality about ourselves, physically or emotionally. But we need to remember that God designed us with specific gifts that will serve our purpose perfectly. God uses our gifts for his glory. He uses our desires and our talents for his purposes. So if you have a proverbial “snapping claw” and are not quite sure what to do with it, rest assured God knows what he’s doing. He gave you a desire or a gift for a particular moment in your life, and you have to trust God with the details. So go out and do what you have been created to do, whether it be teaching kids, painting pictures, or shooting out super speed bubbles, and do it for the glory of God.