Q: But… But what is it then?
A: Great question.
Q: You’re too kind. I do what I can.
A: I just recognize excellence when I see it. But more to the topic at hand, the mantis shrimp can be best categorized as an alien.
We do not know what planet spawned it, nor why the mantis shrimp came to our oceans.
Q: What do we know?
A: Dang it you, get out of here. We know is that it has been here for years; it is a formidable foe; and it has been building.
The mantis shrimp is the proud owner of the world’s fastest punch. It can throw its claws at such speeds that its targets literally explode. The only terrestrial beast to achieve this technique is the pistol shrimp, and even it is only a brown belt compared to the mantis shrimp’s complete mastery.*
It is also the proud owner of the world’s most extensive New Kids on the Block collection. This of course includes their entire discography on all available formats, but it also extends to posters, backpacks, mugs, themed humidors, faux license plates, commemorative pepper sprays and convincing Donnie Wahlberg masks. Oddly, and for its own reasons, the mantis shrimp does not recognize NKOTBSB.
Number of legs
Science has attempted for years to scrute the mantis shrimp’s intentions, but it cannot be scruted. The mantis shrimp’s alien mind is, like its number of legs, ultimately unknowable.
What is it building?
Sweet Christmas I hope it’s not something to destroy us.
What if it fought a bear?
Is it noble?
It is beyond our small human conceptions of nobility.
Please, mantis shrimp. Please have mercy on us.
Heaven help us, if you come at us, we will start offing New Kids on the Block.
*The mantis shrimp’s belt color is a secret higher level – the name of which only black belts can even know.
**For a list of other famous people who are bears, please see my future bear post.