Creepy deep-sea ‘vanilla Vader’ woodlouse is 25 times bigger than a land louse

A photo of the newly identified Bathynomus yucatanensis from a single, 10-inch-long (26 cm) specimen. (Image credit: Ming-Chih Huang, Journal of Natural History)

A colossal, creamy yellow woodlouse relative that has a vague resemblance to Darth Vader has been discovered deep below the ocean surface in the Gulf of Mexico, a new study finds.

At more than 10 inches (26 centimeters) long, the creature is 2,500% larger than common roly polies, or woodlice (Oniscus asellus) that are found chewing on decay matter in most people’s backyards. This blond behemoth is the latest addition to a group of about 20 deep-sea crustaceans in the genus Bathynomus that live in the benthic zone, the deepest reaches of the ocean, according to a statement (opens in new tab).

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