The Pistol Shrimp’s Secret Weapon

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The pistol shrimp (or pistol crab) is a finger-sized crustacean with a fluid dynamical superpower. When it snaps its claw, a jet of water shoots out so quickly (62 mph) that a low-pressure bubble forms in its wake. When the bubble collapses, it emits a bang and a flash of light in a process known as sonoluminescence. The whole event takes less than 300 microseconds. The light emitted suggests that temperatures inside the bubble reach 5,000 degrees Kelvin, around the temperature of the surface of the sun. #

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