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Sea Scorpions Are the Extinct Sea Creatures of Your Nightmares

Thank goodness they don't exist anymore.


Are you having a nice day? Would you like to ruin it by finding out that giant, speedy, 8-foot scorpions used to roam around in lakes? Great! You've come to the right place. Eurypterids, more commonly known as sea scorpions, are an extinct group of water animals that can grow to be bigger than your average NBA player, according to the BBC.

Here are photos of a model replica that is downright terrifying.

Just look at the size of that thing!


And, if the fake thing wasn't scary enough, the fossils alone are enough to make you pretty glad you didn't go swimming in the Silurian period.

That was 443 to 416 million years ago, according to LiveScience, and also a period of time when "underwater life thrived." That makes sense considering gigantic scorpions decided it was fine for them to chill in our nation's lakes.

They would even venture onto land sometimes, according to the BBC.

Technically, since they're freshwater animals, the name "sea scorpion" isn't totally accurate — and they're also not the same as the land scorpions we know today. They're more closely related to spiders, and crabs, according to NatGeo.

But, the name makes sense since they do share attributes with scorpions like a spiked tail, pincers and the ability to inject venom in prey.

And, per the American Naturalist, some species of sea scorpion had a range of motion in their tails that allowed for lethal strikes.

You can see the purported tail sword action depicted in this drawing.

In 2015, several fossilized sea scorpions were found and preserved in excellent condition despite being millions of years old.

According to another LiveScience article, the "fossils provide exquisite detail, showing scales, follicles and stiff bristles that once covered the animals."

Paleontology professor Roy Plotnick heard about the findings and explained to LiveScience just how major the discovery was. "To find something as well preserved as this is pretty exciting, especially given that it's old and yet has features of more advanced forms," Plotnick said.

"That tells us that somewhere in even older rocks should be even more ancestral forms to find."

That's right; there could be more sea scorpions hidden in rock layers — or even more terrifyingly large animals than those — just waiting to be discovered.

There's no denying the sea scorpion fossils are fascinating to look at, but we're just glad they're not around anymore.

The world can be nightmarish enough without adding 8-foot swimming sea scorpions to the mix.


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