So, yesterday we were talking about aircraft carriers and submarines. And this caused me to try to look up something about the 688 boats on Wikipedia.
Of course, I accidentally wound up on the page for the game 688 Attack Sub first, but luckily it had a hyperlink to the actual page for the Los Angeles-class subs.
I found the factoid I was looking for, and saw that there was a linkout to the Type 093-class attack subs of the People's Liberation Army Navy. That article mentioned that the new Chicom sub might be using an asymmetric propeller. Weird. There was no article for "asymmetric propeller". There was one for "asymmetric", but who doesn't know what asymmetric means? So I went to the article for "propeller" instead.
Huh. I knew cavitation was a big deal with boat propellers, but I didn't know that it caused little bubbles that imploded with such force that they eroded the metal. Or that dolphins actually had a speed limit more imposed by cavitation than by their shape or strength...
But that was nothing to the fact that there were critters that used the effects of cavitation like a Klingon sonic disruptor, to stun or kill their food. This was maybe the most awesome thing I've learned all week:
That's the pistol shrimp. He's the cute one in the family. His scarier-looking brother-from-another-planet, also armed with sonic disruptor technology, is the mantis shrimp:
Eccentric-looking thing, ain't he? Apparently they make great pets.
YouTube, by the way, is apparently absolutely littered with "My mantis shrimp versus _______" deathmatch videos, which are kinda creepy in a George R. R. Martin's Sandkings sorta way, and I say this as someone who fed live rats to a ball python.