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Shrimp shootouts end with a shock wave bang

Don’t get between a pistol shrimp and its mate. To defend its home, pistol shrimp can fire a 108-kilometer-per-hour jet of water, taking off an opponent’s claw in the process. Yet, it’s not the water that does the damage, New Scientist reports, but rather the subsequent shock wave. The explosive water missile creates a void large enough to generate a shock wave when it collapses, researchers reported this week in Scientific Reports. The resulting 200-decibel pop is louder than a .22 caliber rifle shot and is the second loudest sound in the ocean, lagging behind only sperm whale calls. But because pistol shrimp fit in the palm of your hand, their slugs only hurt a little.

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