Meet The World’s Largest Land Crab That May Have Eaten Amelia Earhart Alive

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Meet the world’s biggest land crab, which may have eaten Amelia Earhart alive.

The coconut crab is the biggest land crab in the world. It can grow to be over 4 kg (8.8 lbs) long and almost 3 feet wide. This strange animal has powerful power-claws that can open a coconut. It can also climb trees with amazing speed. Some people even think it might be the mysterious creature that took famous pilot Amelia Earhart.

This was the first thing Charles Darwin said when he saw a coconut crab for the first time. And, yes, this crab is not like other crabs. Its ability to hold more than six times its own weight is a real testament to how well nature can engineer things.

In Darwin’s time, stories went around about how these crabs defied gravity by climbing trees and hanging from branches for hours, going against the rules of physics with just one claw. There were many reports that their claws were strong enough to break a coconut or even cut someone in half.

A coconut crab on the beach. Photo: John Tann/Wikimedia Commons

Even though Darwin had doubts about many of these stories, it turned out that truth was better than even the most shocking ones. Observations and study done since then have consistently confirmed how amazing this creature is.

Take the crab’s pincers as an example. These pincers are one of the most dangerous and powerful weapons in the animal world. They can grip with the same force as a lion’s bite. People in some pictures that are shown with these crabs stay still for a reason: these claws are not to be messed with.

Surprisingly, these nightmare claws are not mostly aimed at people. The coconut crab gets its name from the fact that it likes to eat coconuts. It can effortlessly break apart a coconut with its sharp claws, which is both fascinating and scary to see.

Their eating habits, on the other hand, are anything but picky; these crabs are happy to eat a lot of different foods. Based on what people have seen, they hunt and kill birds, tear live pigs apart, and even eat the bodies of other members of their own species. In addition, as their own exoskeletons wear out, they eat these old ones, eating their old shells in a very disturbing way.

Similarly to the party-goers, this dog doesn’t fidget around too much either when encountering a troop of coconut crabs. Source

The process of taking apart a coconut takes some time. The crab may need several days to finally get through the coconut’s defenses. Here’s where another interesting thing about the coconut crab comes into play.

The huge crabs are great at climbing, and they can easily get up any vertical building nearby. If a coconut falls to the ground, they can get it, remove the husk, grab it with their claw, climb up to 10 meters (33 feet) in the tree, and then let go of the nut to get to the juicy inside. It’s amazing that they often go down by falling; they can handle drops of at least 4.5 meters (15 feet) without getting hurt.

The crab’s pincers are so strong that they can hold on to different objects for hours on end. These crabs are very persistent, whether they are stuck on a tree branch, the fence posts, or the walls of a house. Not only do they climb trees to get food, but in some places they also do it to catch birds and drag them to their underground homes, which are called burrows.

Coconut crabs are excellent climbers. Photo: Brocken Inaglory

When they associate with people, they rarely hurt them, but there have been times when this has happened. People are still the only animals that these crabs are afraid of, and if they get angry, they won’t hesitate to fight back. The native people of the Pacific Islands are an example of this interaction because they often dig into the crabs’ holes to find coconuts that have been left over. Unfortunately, these activities sometimes result in fingers getting caught in the crab’s strong pincers, which is an unpleasant experience that is hard to forget.

One of history’s most enduring riddles is at the heart of the scariest story about coconut crabs. In 1940, scientists found a skeleton that had been cut up on Nikumaroro Island. This suggested that the person had been torn limb from limb, which is a very sad end. People thought that the remains might belong to Amelia Earhart, an early aviator who was said to have fallen on the island. Mark Laidre, a scientist who has done a lot of research on the species, wrote about how coconut crabs attack and restrain birds, which really shows how dangerous these animals could be:

“I saw an adult red-footed booby being killed by a coconut crab in the middle of the night. It was sitting on a low tree, not even a meter above the ground. The crab carefully climbed the tree, grabbed the booby’s wing, and broke the bone, sending the bird flying off.

After that, the crab went down to finish the job. “The crab then walked up to the bird, grabbed its other wing, and broke it,” Laidre said. The booby could not get free no matter how hard it tried or how many times it pecked at the crab’s hard shell.

After that, a huge group of coconut crabs showed up and started fighting over the food, showing how persistent nature can be.

Finally, the coconut crab is an amazing example of how clever nature can be. Its mix of strength, adaptability, and resourcefulness continues to amaze and fascinate people. Its amazing power claws, ability to climb trees, and victory over even the meanest enemies make it a sign of nature’s endless variety. There’s no doubt that the coconut crab is one of the most amazing living things on Earth. Its role in historical secrets may only be the stuff of wild stories.

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