Giant sea lice, also known as giant isopods, are a species of crustaceans, not insects. They live at the bottom of the sea waters, and their shape is often referred to as a terrible alien.
These giant sea lice are edible for humans, but beforehand they need to be treated properly to be safe. Indeed, the popularity of isopods is not comparable to their twins, namely crab or lobster species, but there are many interesting facts about these sea lice.
Reporting from Fact Animal (08/06), here are some interesting facts about isopods which are used as unique ramen toppings.
1. Giant Isopods are Ancient Creatures
Existing until now, giant isopods or giant isopods are included in ancient creatures. According to existing fossil discoveries, isopods are estimated to have existed since 160 million years ago, and were in the oceans.
Even isopods are much older than dinosaurs like the tyrannosaurus rex. Several studies were conducted to compare giant isopod species from various seas in the world.
However, it turns out that marine biota have very minimal evolution, because their habitat is on the seabed where the light level is very low.
2. The Reason Why It's Big Size
There are several reasons why the giant isopod can be up to 40cm in size, compared to the size of other isopods. One of them is due to the natural habitat of isopods on the seabed.
Isopods live deep below the surface of the ocean, and in order to survive, they need to store oxygen in their bodies. So they have a larger body size and legs.
Apart from that, many researchers have stated that most marine animals that live in cold waters have large bodies to survive.
3. Can be used as food
Unlike crabs or lobsters which are easy to find in every restaurant to places to eat. The circulation of isopods as a food menu is still limited, because the fishing method is quite complicated because this marine biota lives on the seabed.
However, since ancient times, giant isopods have often been fished, because they are safe for human consumption. The isopod menu can be found in Asian restaurants, usually boiled with various spices until the meat is tender. Then eaten with white rice.
4. Tastes Similar to Shrimp and Crab
There are more than ten thousand species of isopods in the world that exist in the oceans. Although not poisonous, there are some isopods that are inedible. For example ocean isopod, this size is very small.
But the giant isopods are more common for food. For those who have tasted it, they describe that the isopod meat when burned tastes very much like shrimp and crab.
5. Made Topping Ramen
A restaurant named The Ramen Boy, located inside the Liaoning Street Market in Taipei city, is attracting attention with their unique ramen menu.
This ramen was introduced with a special ingredient, which is a giant isopod served with delicious creamy chicken broth ramen.
The Ramen Boy also said that this giant isopod belongs to an adorable species and can be found in many aquariums in Japan. The Ramen Boy restaurant usually removes and cleans the stomach contents of the sea lice, then the remaining meat attached to the sea lice's skeleton is steamed until cooked.
"The taste of sea bug meat is similar to that of lobster or crab. The yellow part in it tastes sweet like eating crab," said a representative for The Ramen Boy. It was from here that the popularity of isopods increased.
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