Europan Shrimp, an Out of this World Delight?

Life appears in unexpected places.

So I had a special thought that I couldn’t get out of my mind. So I am going to share it with the rest of you.

I was channel surfing the other week (or was it the other month?) and I saw Andrew Zimmerman’s off-shoot of Bizarre Foods talking about deadly kinds of food we humans like to consume on Earth; from fugu to rock fish it is no wonder we have sayings like “pick your poison.” I realize that isn’t the phrase origin, but I’m trying to make a point so stick with me.

After that, I was on the Discovery Channel or one of the science channels, and it was about space. As an avid Star Wars fan (read as, raving mad lunatic who would dress up in costume if he could), I enjoy watching things about space. As the ideas of space and deadly foods mixed in my mind I thought about one of my friends who makes me look less Chinese because he will consume Japan’s canned seal meat . . . . he likes the idea of eating the exotic.

So I was thinking if there is a possibility that life exists on Europa, one of the largest moons of Jupiter, which scientists think contains liquid water under the hundreds of meters of ice, would we try to eat it? What is more exotic than  Europan Shrimp?

Before you think it is far-fetched consider the following:

  1. First of all, its pretty clear life can live in freezing depths and around thermal vents and these ecosystems do not derive energy from the sun, but the heat and chemicals pouring from the vents.
  2. Second, this life is generally things like starfish, crabs, shrimps, worms, etc . . . .
  3. Third, if the hypothesis of Europa’s under-ice oceans filled with life is correct, then . . . .
  4. We have Europan Shrimp . . . or some sort of extra-terrestrial equivalent. Can we say edible-terrestrial?

This picture while interesting and very scientific looking, I can't help, but wonder are these creatures edible?

Now for the bigger question: would anyone try to eat it?

But it’s not from here! Well, I sat and thought about it, and when the Earth seemed a whole heck of a lot bigger to explorers it did not stop them from killing things and trying to eat them. Hell, as I said before we eat things we already know are deadly. Fugu anyone?

So what about you? If you live to see the day mankind brings back Europan shrimp, would you eat it? I probably wouldn’t, but that is more because I seem to be allergic to terrestrial crustaceans, so extra ones? Yeah, probably not gonna happen for me.

Would you eat this or would it eat you?

Actually, this all sounds so crazy it should be SyFy movie. It could be the “Shrimp that Invaded Earth” or something else like that.


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