Watch a tiny worm make one of the loudest sounds in the ocean

Science | AAAS | 7/9/2019 | Staff
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In an ocean filled with whales, sharks, and giant schools of fish, one of the loudest sounds comes from a 29-millimeter-long marine worm, new research reveals.

The worms (Leocratides kimuraorum) were first discovered in 2017. They spend their lives in the crevices of hexactinellid sponges, often called glass sponges, off the coast of Japan. But it wasn’t until researchers brought them to the lab that they noticed how noisy they were.

Creatures - Contract - Bodies - Opponent - Team

When the creatures fight, they wriggle toward each other, contract their bodies, and launch themselves headfirst at their opponent, the team found. They also make a loud popping noise that sounds like a champagne cork, underwater microphones revealed. Researchers say the popping sounds emitted by the worms are almost as loud as those of snapping shrimp, which produce sounds so powerful they can break small glass jars.

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