Meet The Coconut Crab AKA Your New Worst Nightmare
The Debrief: Just in case you finished Stranger Things and needed something else to keep you up at night...
Animal videos are the internet’s bread and butter, providing us with all the warm fuzziness we don’t get in real life because we can barely look after ourselves, never mind a living, breathing creature. So, when a video like this is released, it’s a reminder that - oh, yeah - animals would totally eat us if they could. Sorry to ruin your Facebook Newsfeed forever.
Mark Laidre, a scientist visiting the island of Chagos to study coconut crabs, caught the video after noticing the crab beginning to scale a tree. He watched as the creature clawed a sleeping bird out of its nest, knocking it to the ground before snapping its wings.
‘At that point, when both its wings were broken and it was on the ground, it couldn’t go anywhere,’ Laidre told New Scientist.
The crab then pinned the bird down until five more coconut crabs smelt the blood and arrived to join the feast. Laidre described the scene as ‘pretty gruesome.’
Coconut crab claws can pinch with the force of 3,300 newtons which, to put it in context, is strength comparable to that of a lion’s jaw. Although the name sounds like a reference to their diets, it actually comes from the fact that the crustaceans are strong enough to break open coconuts. Scientists describe them as very intelligent animals, who ‘loot, raid and plunder’ to survive. They also hold the title of the largest land-dwelling invertebrate, growing up to one metre wide.
If that’s not scary enough, there’s a theory that coconut crabs played a role in the fate of Amelia Earhart, the American aviator who disappeared in 1937 during a flight over the Pacific Ocean. The Smithsonian claims that she may have been eaten by coconut crabs, which would explain why not even her body was found.
Laidre is pretty determined to give the crabs a second chance, positing to National Geographic that they are ‘curious’ towards humans, not ‘belligerent.’ Considering the fact they’ve also been known to eat kittens, however, it's probably best to give them a miss.
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You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating