Mantis Shrimp Pulls No Punches In Robot Spy Crab Face-off

Sure Muhammad Ali could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, but could he punch like a peacock mantis shrimp? Probably. Heavyweight championship-worthy jabs notwithstanding, a brave robot spy crab decided to take a look anyway.

In a recent video posted by John Downer Productions on YouTube, a spy crab gets up close to the home of a peacock mantis shrimp and quickly learned this sea creature is no shrimp in a fight. The colorful crustacean, likely unable to tell real from robot thanks to the remarkably lifelike build, send out a warning hit, and the robo-crab steps back, despite being about twice its size.

“Fortunately, the mantis has a job to do,” the narrator tells the viewer.

That it does as the video follows the critter on a hunting excursion. Before that though, a female peacock mantis shrimp pops out of the duo’s hole, presumably to remind the partner of the grocery list or to wish him some luck. She won’t be jumping into any brawls most likely, though, as she carries tons of tiny shrimp eggs. It’s unclear what the mantis shrimp nanny market is like.

The male mantis shrimp lies in wait until another crab (not robotic) scurries by. Here, the shrimp lays out a brutal attack, punching its prey.

A robot crab spy camera.

“The most powerful punch in the world, faster than a bullet from a gun, a force 1,700 times his weight,” the narrator continues, sounding more and more like a boxing commentator. “Even the locals seem impressed.”

Whether the locals were impressed or horrifying at the unprovoked attack remains unclear, but several fish were witness to the beating.

Viciously, we see the peacock mantis shrimp then carry the immobile crab back to its home where the family will feast upon the unsuspected victim for the days to come, the video tells viewers.

All the while, the robot spy crab does nothing to help its likeness. So much for “see something, say something.”

John Downer Productions makes animatronic robot spy cameras to explore nature, which have been seen in wildlife documentaries on PBS and BBC. However, they don’t always feature ocean-level street brawls.

Image credits: John Downer Productions