Our planet’s undersea life has proven to be incredibly elusive throughout human history, as our own oceans remain among Earth’s greatest unsolved mysteries. Estimates from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration even project that over 80% of the underwater world has yet to be seen by human eyes. This makes every new discovery about what’s beneath our waters exciting, especially when they involve monstrously large sea cockroaches from uncharted waters with 14 legs, frightening reflective eyes, and a head that looks like Darth Vader’s helmet.
Enter the Bathynomus raksasa. This giant isopod was first discovered off the southern coast of Indonesia in 2018 but has recently been acknowledged as a newly discovered species. And a frightening one at that. While most previously recorded species of giant isopods have been found to grow to about 12 inches at best, the raksasa has already been found to reach much larger sizes of up to 20 inches. The Natural History Museum of London credits the isopod’s gargantuan size to a low level of predation in its cold habitat, allowing its specimens to vastly outgrow their fellow Bathynomus.
The creatures have colloquially been called “sea cockroaches.” A fitting name, considering they not only live on the ocean floor, feasting on the remains of dead sea creatures, but have also been observed to share survivalist adaptations with the land-dwelling insects you like to pretend aren’t infesting your apartment this very moment, like being capable of operating for long periods of time without food.
We’re no film marketers, but we imagine that a movie about giant sea cockroaches rising from an unexplored part of the deep sea to terrorize mankind would sell itself. Bonus points if they can survive without their heads and live through nuclear blasts.