Snipply, the Furry Lobster

The Boston Globe today has an article about a possible new species of crustacean that has just been discovered in the South Pacific.
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It’s amazing that we don’t need to go to other planets to find alien species — look at all the crazy things running around on our ocean floors right now. Look at it. It’s a lobster, with hair. Blonde hair, no less. (Researchers are still attempting to verify whether the “carpets match the drapes,” if you know what I mean.)

The creature, which the scientists have dubbed Kiwa hirsuta but which I am calling “Snipply, the Furry Lobster,” was found around hydrothermal vents located 7,540 feet beneath the surface. We’ve only known about these sorts of vents for less than 30 years, so there’s a lot to figure out about them both in terms of their geology (what I call “rockiness”) and their biology (“Snippliness”).

If you consult your Skepchick 2006 Calendars, please note that Ms. August has just been chosen by MIT to sail around the world researching underwater rockiness. Any comments and e-mails sent my way congratulating her will be forwarded to our favorite hottie geologist. But please, don’t bother asking her to pick you up souveniers. She’s already going to be busy enough finding me a Snipply of my own. Look, he’s so cute! My cats will love him. To pieces.

Speaking of, allow me to demonstrate the difference between my thought process and that of the Boston Globe journalist. Upon viewing Snipply, my first thought was, “Aww, he’s blonde and only six inches long — just the size to live in my bathtub and be my furry underwater friend!” The Boston Globe journalist thought:

The animal is white and just shy of 6 inches long — about the size of a salad plate.

Run away, Snipply, run with all the speed your tiny blonde legs can handle!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. I saw that on this morning listed as, "Hulk Hogan's moustache now listed as a lifeform". I laughed 'til I just about peed. Then I came to my senses and realized that, wow, that's a scary looking friggin' thing, even if it is only the length on my penis and named Snipply (oddly, also the name of my penis).

    Enough about that, great blog so far!

  2. I've been marveling (word?) at the bloody awful pressure this thing lives at.

    How many atmospheres is that? Why didn't your buddy, Snipply, simply explode from internal pressure when brought to the surface?

    And another thing. Why didn't they extend his tail away from the body when photographing him? Hmmm? Everyone knows I prefer the tail over the claw meat…

  3. I saw him in the news this past week, and posted the article at my virtual-community. I think it really is amazing to find such a bizzare new creature, and I think that Mattel ought to jump on this and create a Lobster Barbie with widdle combs and bows for its hair. And maybe some waterproof makeup.

  4. Saw one like it, less the hair,& not a blonde, brought up in the trawl off the Miss. River on the R/V Gyre–Looked like a cross between a lobster and a crab.

    Things don't necessarily explode when you bring them up from takes a while to retrieve these things & critters with exoskeleton are externally fairly durable-internal may be a mess ,tho. It may not need to run away from us…it may be toxic…hydrovent life forms typically use a different chemistry than we .

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