Shock & Claws: The World’s 7 Most Amazing Crabs

Giant Spider Crab Invasion!

(image via: Dreamstime)

The Japanese Spider Crab ( is the world’s largest crab – at full extension its legs can span a width of 12 feet! Being that large, calling it a “spider” crab is just cruel (shudder). Regardless of its formidable appearance and a body weight of up to 40 pounds, Japanese Spider Crabs are not aggressive to humans and are basically scavengers of organic debris that sinks to their ocean floor habitat.

(images via: Foodbeast and Anissa Wilfred)

Never very numerous, Japanese Spider Crabs have been harvested in small numbers for centuries, though according to Japanese fishermen in the Suruga Bay area “for the serious injuries it can cause with its strong claws.” That’s the basis for one heck of a fish story with the scars to back it up!

Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like An Anemone

(image via: Myth Asia)

Boxer Crabs, also known as Pompom Crabs of the genus Lybia have evolved a curious symbiotic relationship with another creature: the sea anemone. Often spied with a small stinging anemone grasped in each claw, Boxer Crabs manage to arm themselves (literally) with added weaponry that enables them to punch far above their weight.

(images via: Giancarlo BROSOLO and Buzzle)

What do the anemones get out of the relationship? It’s been theorized that being on the business end of the crabs’ food gathering enables the anemones to receive more exposure to nutrients, as well as having some protection from their own predators. If both creatures could speak, upon capturing a meal one posits they might just say “cheers!”

(image via: ESA/Hubble)

When Chinese astronomers recorded the sudden appearance of a very bright “new star” back in the year 1054, it’s possible they would have discussed the phenomenon later over a dinner of steamed crab. Nearly a thousand years later and definitely not coincidentally, the remains of what we now know to have been a supernova have taken on the vague appearance of a crab. The famous Crab Nebula has expanded to roughly 11 light years wide and its colorful filaments of ionized gas glow at temperatures from 11,000 to 18,000 degrees Kelvin. Waiter, we’re gonna need a LOT more melted butter!