With April Fool’s day came a number of stories that seemed genuine, some that seemed entirely fabricated, and some that seemed just real enough but still too fantastic to report until we could be sure that the subjects were not fabricated. Such was the case of the monster isopod that was almost three feet long that grabbed on to a submarine during a research venture. A number of marine ecologists and biologists have stepped forward stating that the creature described is not unprecedented, but certainly not commonly seen brought to the surface.
The creature was officially measured at 75 cm, causing quite a fuss over whether or not it is real considering the unfortunate day it appeared online, April first. The user of the website claimed that the images were received from an independent contractor he was a close personal contact with who had received it from a deep sea survey team. He quoted the friend as saying, “Recently this beast came up attached to one of our ROVs (that’s Remotely Operated Vehicle) …it latched onto the ROV at roughly 8,500 feet (2600 meters) depth.” It’s unknown where exactly the creature was found, since the name of the ship the operator was working from was unknown. Of course this sounds like perfect background material for an April Fool’s day joke. And perhaps this particular case could or could not have been. But several marine biologists have come forward as saying if it is a joke, then the joke is on him. They really do get that big. The largest known isopod on Earth that has been categorized is the Bathynomus Giganteus. It is most commonly known as the giant isopod.
The giant species was first discovered in 1879 when french zoologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards discovered the mysterious creature in the Gulf of Mexico. Of course the incredible discovery created quite a bit of excitement due to the unusual and seemingly alien nature of the creatures. And one must remember that in 1879 the opinion of most scientists was that the deep ocean was largely lifeless. The first specimens to be discovered were all male, but in 1891 the first female giant isopods were discovered.
Not only are the creatures relatively common in comparison to some creatures, fishermen actually consider the giant isopod generally to be a nuisance as they are rarely consumed except as a delicacy in some regions. Sometimes a few specimens find their way into traps in the United States and are generally either thrown back or kept and donated to aquariums due to their bizarre nature and giant size.
While it’s not necessarily a cryptid, it is considered incredibly unusual in size and its aggressiveness in latching on to the research sub. The three foot long isopod’s fate is unknown, but it did receive its fifteen minutes of fame when it was skeptically uploaded to a number of websites saying that such a creature could not exist. The interesting thing is it is not unique, just unusually large and alien looking.