Snap, Crackle, Pop …. Rice Krispies Under My Hull?

What’s making all the noise?   In anchorages all over the NW & SW Caribbean, it can be so loud, it’s startling.  Something swimming through the anchorage?  Snapping shrimp?  So why when we hear it, then get in the water, in clear water, we can never spot any “snapping shrimp” — so really, what’s up with all the noise?

It’s funny reading about new boater’s reactions to the noise which also sounds like a wood fire crackling and popping.  The immediate reaction  is that there’s something wrong with the boat.  I’ve read all kinds of accounts where the boat owner thought the noise was caused by running aground, there must be a crack in the hull that’s letting in water and making the noise.  Or the keel is falling off … or …. Fortunately for all, the noise is merely noise.  Unless you have some other evidence that there’s something wrong with your hull, it’s likely pistol shrimp busy under the boat.

Apparently they are not, as I used to think, munching on the algae growth on the bottom.  There are a variety of explanations online, and we all know that if it’s online, it has to be true, right?   I’m not a youtube person, mostly because my internet connection is so slow that generally all I get is a bunch of jerky video with stuttering & stammering as audio.  But when I ran across this explanation of pistol shrimp, I thought it was worth passing on!   Who knows if it’s right, I just thought it was interesting.  I’d sure like to SEE one of these little creatures though.  Maybe under Winterlude, we’re lucky enough to have INVISIBLE pistol shrimp?    🙂   Here’s the minute & a half video explanation…

THANKS to sonefe67 for posting this!



  1. SURELY NOT!!! That’s kind of scary…

  2. That is really wild

  3. Candy Ann Williams via Facebook says:

    I’ll never forget back in the 80’s when I first heard them down on the Everglades. I was so worried!! LOL

  4. They’re also called ‘snapping shrimp’ and they live in the mud. You need a Yabbi pump to get to them . Reference “callianassid mud shrimps”

  5. Sorry, wrong genus. They’re Alpheid shrimp.

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