Cousteau Gets Weird With Deep-Sea Gigantism

Philippe Cousteau, grandson of legendary oceanographer Jacques, wants to teach us about the mysteries of the deep ocean with another installment of "The Aquatic World," the quirky web-series that blends humor with nautical knowledge that's downright fascinating.

He's covered seahorses and super-powered shrimp before, but this time around Cousteau wants to school viewers on a deep-sea phenomenon known as "sea gigantism," by introducing a giant isopod. The giant crustacean can live as far down as 7,000 feet below sea level and grow to be two feet long. The creature has a number of alien qualities, like its feeding habits; it has four sets of jaws, but can go long stretches without food. "One isopod in captivity in Japan survived five years without eating," explains Cousteau.

The giant isopod is a prime example of the sea gigantism effect. "We're not sure why this happens — it might be due to sea pressure, or to scarcity of food resources. Either way, these guys are huge." 

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