Coconut crabs on Christmas Island love thriving on fruit trees, chilling out on the beaches and stealing golf clubs, apparently.
This week, footage of a giant “Robber Crab”, latched onto the golf clubs in a trolley bag, went viral on social media.
This crab is absolutely massive, though interestingly it’s not as big as its species can get, with some crabs reportedly as big as one metre from leg to tip.
What makes things more freaky is that this crab, innocent as anything, totally just clawed through a golf club like it was nothing. Here, give the clip a watch.
In case you needed a reminder, golf clubs are typically made from metals, in particular steel or titanium. Seeing a crab doing this with its claw (which isn’t even as big as that claw can get!) is pretty bonkers. At the end of the video, the crab manages to take off with one of the golfer’s club covers.
“And that’s why we call them a robber crab,” says Paul Buhner, the video recorder. “We have not put this here, this has climbed up here while we’ve been putting out!”
Unfortunately, the video isn’t exactly new, but it has been doing the rounds on social media recently, much to the surprise of the video recorder.
The crab belongs to the Coconut crab species, named after what they eat the most. To get into a coconut, you would absolutely need some pretty serious muscle to bust open a coconut (although there aren’t any coconuts on Christmas Island). They can also climb trees.
But yes, they are also often referred to as robber crabs or palm thieves for their criminal tendencies. They are the largest terrestrial arthropod and are also considered a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and human hunting.
Christmas Island, where this video was captured, is one of the places where you’ll find Coconut crabs thriving. Apparently, with human settlement, Christmas Island also gives these crabs a good place to practice their thievery.
Actually, you know what, go off crabs. Steal away! If I had big tough claws like a crab I’d probably want to pinch stuff too. Here’s a video from years ago featuring a cheeky crab stealing a Go Pro.