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Friday, February 12, 2010

Arthropodic Nightmare

Something new to add to the ever growing category "basically monsters". The "biggest crab ever seen in Britain" is making its way to the UK National Sealife Center. The Daily Mail has dubbed him "Crabzilla".

Just look at the mock cheerful, terrified grimace on that man. Crabzilla is a Japanese Spider Crab, Macrocheira kaempferi, the largest living anthropod species. He is 10 feet long from claw to claw, but will be 13 feet when full grown. His species is the only known living species in the Macrocheira genus, which is pretty crazy. The species is named after Engelbert Kaempfer, a 17th century German naturalist who explored Japan and the Persian Gulf. He is known for bringing Ginkgo Biloba (which had been thought to be extinct) to the western world. You holistic medicine fans out there know who to thank now!

The original article about this crab actually kind of bothers me. It's not like this crab is some new discovery. It's had a formal scientific name for more than 150 years, and is even commonly eaten in Japan. It's also not like this crab was caught in England, which would be weird and interesting. It was caught in it's native habitat and then sold to the aquarium. I dunno. It is definately a noteworthy beast. (I love the fact that it can live to be 100!) But calling it "the biggest crab ever seen in Britain" misleads people into thinking it rose out of the sea at Blackpool.

Oh well.


  1. I've seen these things at aquariums a few times. They like to keep them in really dark water to simulate the ocean floor, which doesn't really make them any less horrifying.