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Meet the Newly Discovered Chainsaw Lobster

That crazy claw has an unexpected purpose.

Lurking 1,600 feet below the surface of the ocean in the waters off Indonesia is the chainsaw lobster.

The crustacean was only recently discovered on a groundbreaking survey of the Singapore/Indonesian waters, per How Stuff Works. It was conducted by a group of scientists from the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition, according to the Daily Mail.

The 14-day survey found a whole host of strange deep-sea creatures, reported the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

Such as the ice cream cone worm:

And the Darth Vader isopod:

The reason so many interesting animals were found over just two weeks is because a deep-sea sampling of this scale hadn't previously been conducted in the Indian Ocean, per the Daily Mail.

The outlet reported that the crew found a whopping 12,000 animals from 800 species. They plan to further study the creatures in the lab before publishing their full findings in 2020.

But of particular interest is the chainsaw lobster.

The crustacean is totally blind, according to the Natural History Museum, and has one long claw filled with sharp teeth.

But despite its scary appearance and name, this lobster probably isn't using that chainsaw claw to hurt anything. The museum reported that scientists believe the lobsters use the claw to sift through sand to look for food — not to capture and kill prey.

So less chainsaw and more shovel, really.


Perhaps this is the same way the mysterious terrible claw lobster uses its own giant claw.

According to Australian Geographic, no one knows why that lobster has an extra-large toothy claw. But since they do look alike, it's possible that both lobsters have these built-in sieves for that alone and nothing more.

In any case, getting a glimpse of the chainsaw lobster at all is a big deal. The Natural History Museum reports that the crustaceans are usually hiding out in their deeply burrowed homes, which is why it wasn't until 2018 that one was recorded.

Now just wait until the scientists publish their full report from the Singapore/Indonesia study.

There's no telling what other cool animals they found lurking in the deep sea.


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