February 3rd, 2012
01:49 PM ET

'Supergiant' shrimplike creatures found off New Zealand

Scientists say they recently captured “supergiant” deep-sea crustaceans nearly a foot long the likes of which have rarely been seen in an ocean trench off New Zealand.

The seven amphipods measure about 28 centimeters (about 11 inches) long, which is 10 times the length of normal deep-sea amphipods and nearly three times the size of what are considered giant amphipods, Scotland’s University of Aberdeen said Thursday.

They are the biggest whole specimens of supergiants ever recorded, according to the university.

The team’s deep-sea cameras also caught footage of a supergiant that scientists estimated was about 34 centimeters (13 inches) long.

Though the creatures may remind observers of shrimp, amphipods are an order apart.

Scientists with the university and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research were looking for deep-sea snailfish when a trap made the unexpected catch.

“(After) the traps came on deck … I stopped and thought, ‘What on Earth is that?’ whilst catching a glimpse of an amphipod far bigger than I ever though possible,” the voyage’s leader, Alan Jamieson of the University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab, said in a news release. “It’s a bit like finding a footlong cockroach.”

The capture was made about 7 kilometers (more than 4 miles) below the surface, the deepest point that supergiants have been found, the university said.

Supergiants were found a few times off Hawaii in the 1970s and 1980s but haven’t been reported since, according to the university.

The scientists will now try to determine whether the species they caught are the same as those found off Hawaii decades ago.

December 2011: Giant cannibal shrimp worry Gulf Coast watchers

October 2010: New fish species found deep below ocean surface

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Filed under: Animals • Nature • New Zealand
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. raven

    I do love shrimp but something about this icks me out. And isnt this one of the more common oxymorons? Giant shrimp?

    February 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • valytrice

      That TOTALLY wierds me out also and I LOVE shrimp.......ewwww

      February 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • CmonNow11

      Yes, that would be a great oxymoron if only "shrimp" meant small...

      February 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      I'm glad I'm not the only one creeped out by this thing. I too LOVE shrimp. This makes me shudder.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jj

    Lol. That thing gives me the creeps too!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. jye

    Yep, you'd definitely want to de-vein (de-turd) those bad boys before eating them...

    February 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. DOWN UNDER

    I wouldn't eat that for nothing! Looks like Osama's brain!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Office Junkie

      Wow, put the pipe down, I think you have had enough for the day.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Doug

    Put the damned thing back and leave them alone. You don't have to eat everything on the planet humans. You fat arses can let something live in peace without putting catchup on it and sticking it on a bun. Go eat grease at the in out burger fat arse american fools.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. oldman100

    great! let's overfish them to extinction!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Peter Jones

    Enough already....Tell us how they taste!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JP

    I thought that was Bobby Flay in the picture at first.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Risky

      I thought it was Charlie Sheen

      February 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. pUCKLES

    Another animal for man to eventually make extinct.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Gregg

    I'd like to know how they taste also, but from that depth, I suspect the only thing you'd taste would be sulfur.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. CmonNow11

    "The scientists will now try to determine whether the species they caught are the same as those found off Hawaii decades ago" .... and whether, with this latest find good 'n dead, the species is now extinct

    February 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rbnlegnd

      They trapped 7 specimins. That's it, they are overfished and extinct. No species can handle a massacre like that.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ROCKWOOD

    looks nassy.......we'll probably fish them into extinction.....

    February 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. longtooth

    Shrimp and lobster are in the same family as cicadas and locusts. Yes, they're sea bugs.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jerome Horowitz

    Look at it, put it back, leave it alone.

    February 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joseph

      There has to be a place for science.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. KC

    Quick someone give that dude a skillet, garlic and stick of butter!!!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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