Would You Feel Safe Swimming in Florida’s Waters with this 18-Inch Crustacean Swimming Around?

| by Lina Batarags

An enormous, 18-inch crustacean was pulled out of the water from a Florida dock, leaving state wildlife officials shocked and baffled.

The scaly creature has multiple legs and claws, and is believed to be some sort of mantis shrimp. The name, however, is misleading: a mantis shrimp is not related to shrimp, and has a spring-loaded hammer-like claw that can lash out at speeds of 50 mph.

“These types of crustaceans have eyes on stalks that can move independently of one another,” said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

The creature was described as having been “striking its own tail” as it was reeled in off the Fort Pierce dock.

In a Facebook post, the commission stated that the fisherman “grabbed it by its back like a lobster.”

After catching the creature, the fisherman took several photos of it as it hung from the end of a fishing line; he told officials that he then released the creature.

News of the enormous creature’s discovery led to a variety of reactions on the FWC’s Facebook page.

“Get Out the Garlic Butter !!!!!!!!" wrote Ed Karecki.

Others were less enthused.

“I would probably put a few rounds in it before I drug it on [shore] (it’s an alien),” posted Aaron Pickern.

Sources: NY Daily News, Chron

Photo Source: NY Daily News