Adopt the giant deep-sea isopod, Bathynomus giganteus, as the National Deep-Sea Animal of the United States.

allamericanisopodIf you are an avid DSN reader then undoubtedly you know our fascination with Giant Isopods. Back in the early days of 2007, I was sharing Bathynomus giganteus videos and pontificating about their large size (and continued to discuss their size).  The iconic species made it on to my list of best species and my bucket list of marine species. The gargantuan roly-polys are even seminal to my career and research focus. I’ve followed their rise into internet and pop culture.

So naturally DSN and I are onboard with the initiative at Southern Fried Science to adopt the Giant Isopod as the National Deep-Sea Animal of the United States.

Andrew Thaler discusses nicely why the Giant Isopod is the perfect American icon for the deep sea and this great country.

(1) The giant deep-sea isopod is a charismatic, iconic deep-sea species commonly found in the deep waters of the United States, particularly the Gulf of Mexico and Southern Atlantic;

(2) The giant deep-sea isopod has attained a level of popular culture awareness in recent years that is unrivaled by most enigmatic deep-sea animals, with a small but persistent presence in art, film, and music;

(3) The first specimen was collected from the Gulf of Mexico in 1879 by renowned American scientist Alexander Agassiz;

(4) The discovery of the giant deep-sea isopod provided important early evidence to disprove the Azoic Hypothesis–that the ocean was lifeless beyond a few hundred feet;…

(6) The giant deep-sea isopod, being at times either fiercely independent or collectively powerful, capable of surviving and thriving in the food-limited deep ocean through tenacity and resourcefulness, models many shared American values…

(8) The giant deep-sea isopod can serve as an Ambassador Species for deep-sea ecosystems within the territorial waters of the United States, inspiring the public to explore and learn about this unseen world.

Are you with us?

Step 1: Go sign the petition. Don’t worry it will take you all of 2 minutes.

Step 2: Share this post and the petition link with all your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and what ever other crazy social media you are into.



Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.