DPG is a comprehensive underwater photography website and community for underwater photographers. Learn underwater photography techniques for popular digital cameras and specialized professional underwater equipment (wide angle, macro, super macro, lighting and work flow). Read latest news, explore travel destinations for underwater photography. Galleries of professional and amateur underwater photography including wrecks, coral reefs, undersea creatures, fashion and surfing photography.
Dive Photo Guide


Deep-Sea Snail Species Possible Inspiration For New Body Armor
By Matt J. Weiss, January 19, 2010 @ 11:10 AM (EST)
The scaly-foot gastropod, Crysomallon squamiferum, is a snail that lives in the Central Indian Ridge at a 2420 meters.  Apparently, this snail is pretty good at defending itself from crab attacks, which piqued the interest of some scientists.

To find out how the shell withstood crab claws they simulated an attack using a diamond-tipped probe.

What they found was that the snail shell had three layers of protection, all providing different functions.

The outermost layer of the shell has particles of iron sulphide, which are particularly strong. The iron sulphide is created in the hydrothermal vents and are embedded in the a soft matrix that snail secretes.  

This layer cracks, but when it does, it absorbs a lot of the energy and only cracks around the 20 nanometer long iron sulphide particles. This prevents large cracks to the shell.

The middle layer is spongy, and is similar to padding. This layer also absorbs energy from crab claws crushing the shell, helping to prevent big cracks in the last line of defense, the brittle calcium carbonate inner layer.

The MIT scientists who did the study were particularly interested in the iron based particles that absorb the energy of a blow, as it has never been applied to synthetic systems.

Who knows, maybe this snail is the source of a new line of better protecting helmets?




Ikelite Housing for Sony ZV-E10
Nauticam M16 USB-C Bulkhead
Canon RF 10–20mm f/4 L IS STM
OM System TG-7
Nikon Zf
Be the first to add a comment to this article.
You must be logged in to comment.
Support Our Sponsors
Travel with us

Featured Photographer

Follow Us