Video: Our Encounter With Killer Shrimp on the West Coast

In 2017, we were camping on the West Coast near the Redwood Forest. One of our aims was to explore as many beaches as time allowed. It was a chilly morning, and we walked along the shore, letting our feet cool in the water.

This time, we would encounter a carnivore that would leave our littlest kiddo crying buckets.

I was digging in the sand with my littlest when a wave washed in and filled the hole. Libbie began screaming as if ants were covering her legs. My wife LaShera began to dust her legs and discovered small creatures that didn’t want to let go. They clung tightly while blood dripped down Libbie’s legs.

We later discovered (thanks to Google) that the were Amphipods, also sometimes called scuds, or rarely, killer shrimp. Of course, killer shrimp makes for a better story. So, in family lore, that’s the name that stuck.

These creatures are voracious scavengers ā€” the reason some varieties are sometimes used to clean fish tanks. They don’t typically attack ā€” they’re a bit like vultures in the sea, cleaning away dead animal matter. At this particular beach, they washed into shore in clusters. When one of those clusters crashed against Libbie’s leg, they likely became confused and mistook her for food (as she says in the video).

Want something entertaining?

Enjoy our melodramatic retelling of the Killer Shrimp.

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