Killer crustacean the ugly phronima

Call them monsters of the deep. The rare breed of parasitic shrimp who's horrifying hunting tactics once inspired director Ridley Scott's Alien movies have been discovered in the last place on earth you'd expect to find them: County Kerry in Ireland.

The scarifying parasitic shrimp , a 2cm-long phronima, were discovered on a beach in Kerry and their unexpected appearance has baffled marine experts.

Several of the barrel-shaped creatures were washed up on the shore creating concern that they could spell serious long-term ramifications for the fish life in the area.

Biologist Kevin Flannery made the discovery and told the Irish Examiner that the shrimp are known to burrow their way into a host fish before devouring them from the inside out. Once it has fed it then moves onto other fish and the horrifying cycle continues.


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'This is the type that was made famous in Aliens but, unfortunately, it’s famous for all the wrong reasons,' Flannery said. The shrimp were then handed over to authorities at Dingle Oceanworld for further examination.

Flannery said he had stumbled across the shrimp whilst out walking and was amazed and disturbed by the find.

'It’s certainly the first time I’ve ever seen these in Kerry and it’s a very, very rare sight indeed,' he said.