Anti-Caturday: The Attack of the Face-Huggers

Giant Coconut Crab
Giant Coconut Crab

Generally I’m a fan of creepy crawlies. I see spiders in a petstore, I’m glued to the glass until my husband tears me away. Generally speaking I rather like arthropods too. Not so for the Coconut Crab or the Japanese Spider Crab which I’ll have to return to another time. These things were on display in the Helsinki Sea-Life for a while and I just would not go near them. They’re huge! The picture above made the rounds all around the interwebs last year and the creepy thing is that it’s not photoshopped. Those things are real. They seem to live pretty much all over the archipelagos and coastlines of southern Asia. And they specifically live on land, they will drown if left under water for too long.

The beast gets its name from the fact that it can break coconuts with its pincers. It has no natural predators but humans do hunt them because their meat is apparently especially delicious. Although depending on their diet they may be poisonous too. Speaking of diet, coconut crabs live mostly off fruits and nuts but they have been known to catch and eat rats as well. There are theories that it was coconut crabs ate Amelia Earhart’s corpse after the crash that killed her. There is, of course, no evidence for that but coconut crabs do occasionally scavenge even the corpses of their own species let alone others.

Birgus latro (Bora-Bora) via Wikipedia
Birgus latro (Bora-Bora) via Wikipedia

Yeah, they climb trees. Sorry for the nightmares.

Giant Coconut Crab via Edward Wang (http://www.flickr.com/people/ewang78/)
Giant Coconut Crab via Edward Wang (http://www.flickr.com/people/ewang78/)

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