WATCH: Giant Isopod Snags a Shark for Dinner

Giant Isopod This is one of two giant isopods (Bathynomous gigantus) seen during Dive 11 of the 2019 Southeastern U.S. Deep-sea Exploration. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2019 Southeastern U.S. Deep-sea Exploration. Attribution-ShareAlike

In the pitch darkness of the deep sea, all manner of monstrosities lurk — including giant, shark-eating isopods.

From the demonic anglerfish to the hellish vampire squid, the sea creatures of the abyss have evolved to fuel nightmares, and the giant isopod (Bathynomus giganteus) is no exception.

Dwelling between 500 and 7000 feet below the surface, giant isopods are far beyond the viewing reach of recreational scuba divers, but they are occasionally caught by fishermen and captured by submarine and baited cameras.

While they are generally scavengers, one baited camera captured a hungry giant isopod capturing a larger dogfish shark and easily devouring its face (what a way to go).

Giant isopods are generally harmless despite the dogfish’s horrifying fate. In fact, they are among the many natural, helpful “vacuum cleaners” that sweep and clean the ocean floor. Without them, marine carcasses would take far longer to decompose.

In the video below, watch a hungry horde of giant isopods and other deep sea scavengers devour the derelict corpse of a deceased tuna. In a matter of hours, they completely consume the tuna, leaving nothing but sand in their wake.