Just when you thought it was safe to go super-deep sea diving, scientists have discovered a giant new crustacean lurking in the water.
Most isopods are around half an inch long but this newly-discovered monster of the deep is more like fourteen inches.
The chances of coming across one during a dip in the ocean is pretty slim — they are generally found at a depth of 4,000 feet.
New Atlas reports scientists were stunned when they realised they had discovered a new species living in the deep waters off Indonesia, especially one that looks so scary.
This creature is a new species of “supergiant” isopod, a huge marine relative of the common pillbug.
They said the incredible discovery was made during the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition 2018, known as SJADES 2018.
At depths up to 4,000 feet, they spotted two specimens of giant isopods that have now been determined to belong to a new species.
Named Bathynomus raksasa, the holotype, or physical specimen that serves as the basis for the description and name of the new species, is a male that was measured to be 14.3 inches long, which puts it among the largest giant isopods ever found.
The second specimen was a female measuring 11.7 inches.
They said along with being bigger on average, the team noted other differences when compared to the closest known species, Bathynomus giganteus, including smoother “skin” and different body proportions and shapes.
“The identification of this new species is an indication of just how little we know about the oceans,” writes Helen Wong, an author of the study.
“There is certainly more for us to explore in terms of biodiversity in the deep sea of our region.”
New Atlas says the team claim the discovery is an example of deep-sea gigantism, an observation that some creatures that dwell in the deep tend to grow much bigger than their relatives in shallower waters or on land.
Most isopods measure less than half an inch in length, but the 20 species in the “supergiant” Bathynomus genus grow to be more than 30 times larger.
The new study was published in the journal ZooKeys.