snopes.com  


Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Fauxtography

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 16 August 2007, 04:33 AM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,624
Fright Coconut crab

Take a look at the above photo of the Christmas island robber crab (another name for coconut crab). It was taken at the Detention Centre construction site.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 16 August 2007, 04:42 AM
Caduceus Fox
 
Posts: n/a
Default


If I saw that on my garbage can, I'd be running for a halberd, anything to keep myself both safe and far from it.
But at the same time, it's... really cool, and I'd love to watch it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Reports about the size of Birgus latro vary, and most references give a weight of up to 4 kg (9 lb), a body length of up to 400 mm (16 in), and a leg span of around 1 m (3 ft), with males generally being larger than females. Some reports claim weights up to 17 kg and a body length of 1 m. It is believed that this is near the theoretical limit for a terrestrial arthropod. However, when the body is supported by water, larger sizes are possible (see Japanese spider crab).
Seems like the piccy is possibly real.


-Fox
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 16 August 2007, 06:33 AM
MiddleEye
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The animal might exist, but the crab in that particular picture is completely 2D. His body is flat against the trashcan and his tail suddenly ends or curves under the bottom of the can. So I think it's fake. Unless the crab is made of paper.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 16 August 2007, 06:43 AM
frogpond's Avatar
frogpond frogpond is offline
 
Join Date: 10 November 2005
Location: McDonough, GA
Posts: 4,248
Reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleEye View Post
The animal might exist, but the crab in that particular picture is completely 2D. His body is flat against the trashcan and his tail suddenly ends or curves under the bottom of the can. So I think it's fake. Unless the crab is made of paper.
This species of crab doesn't have a tail. It has a spider-like abdomen.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 16 August 2007, 06:47 AM
Caduceus Fox
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I noticed that one of the left arms looks like it's gripping the handle (although that could be clever 'shopping). Also, where the claw looks to be under the lid, the plastic is whiter (although, oddly, only on the left side) as though the plastic was being bent. Then again, that could just be my sleep deprived eyes coming up with things again.


-Sleepy Fox
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 16 August 2007, 06:49 AM
frogpond's Avatar
frogpond frogpond is offline
 
Join Date: 10 November 2005
Location: McDonough, GA
Posts: 4,248
Reading

Having looked up some more photos of large coconut crabs, I'd say there isn't any reason why this can't be real. The pincers can cut through a broom handle - yikes!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 16 August 2007, 06:55 AM
MiddleEye
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The bottom half of it still looks flat to me. Besides wouldn't it knock over the trashcan? Even if the trashcan was full, you'd think it would most likely tip over. Our neighbor's 15 pound cat can knock ours over trying to do whatever it is she does out there and god knows raccoons do it. But I guess it does say they only weigh nine pounds.
It could very well be real, but something about it seems off to me.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 16 August 2007, 06:57 AM
Caduceus Fox
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Something has been striking me perspective-wise about the bottom half.


-Sleepy Fox
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 16 August 2007, 08:19 AM
Ms. K's Avatar
Ms. K Ms. K is offline
 
Join Date: 27 July 2003
Location: Madisonville, KY
Posts: 6,478
Default

I don't care if it's real or 'shopped, Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ, that thing is huge, and if I saw something that humongous, and knew that it's pincher claws can cut a broomstick in half? I'd run screaming for the hills.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16 August 2007, 12:56 PM
Wild1_74
 
Posts: n/a
Default

And the very bottom (butt or tail or whatever) looks just like a hamburger to me???

Wild1_74
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 16 August 2007, 01:33 PM
ElectricBarbarella's Avatar
ElectricBarbarella ElectricBarbarella is offline
 
Join Date: 10 October 2001
Location: Ruskin, FL
Posts: 7,330
Default

This is a true picture. As someone who is a hermit crab owner and member of the Hermit Crab association... this is a Coconut Crab and his body does look flat, it is supposed to. http://images.google.com/images?clie...=1&sa=N&tab=wi To me, they look like louse on steroids

But yes, this is real. Is this exact photo real? Can't say, not there. But the crab definitely is real and they definitely do this and definitely get this big. This photo is entirely plausible.

toni
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 16 August 2007, 01:33 PM
Blatherskite's Avatar
Blatherskite Blatherskite is offline
 
Join Date: 06 February 2006
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 3,909
Default

Hey, there's no call for rude comments about any crab's bottom.

Googling 'coconut crab' finds one of similar proportions that appears to be bright blue. Ehehehehehe. Lovely.

I suspect that bin is smaller than the wheelie-bin size I first assumed. That doesn't reduce the OMGTHAT'SAHUGECRAB effect but it helps.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 16 August 2007, 01:39 PM
ElectricBarbarella's Avatar
ElectricBarbarella ElectricBarbarella is offline
 
Join Date: 10 October 2001
Location: Ruskin, FL
Posts: 7,330
Default

If you google hermit crabs, you can see just how huge those things get. My friend Krista has a crab that she's had for over 30 years, named Bluto, and he's as big as a softball.

I've got 5 of them now and my largest is as big as a golfball.

toni
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 16 August 2007, 01:42 PM
Eddylizard's Avatar
Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
Join Date: 15 June 2006
Location: Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Posts: 17,857
Default

I read the thread title and thought this was going to be a recipe.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 16 August 2007, 01:50 PM
Jay Tea Jay Tea is offline
 
 
Join Date: 09 October 2002
Location: gg gg
Posts: 13,910
Ponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
I read the thread title and thought this was going to be a recipe.
Me an' all - i'm starving

Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 16 August 2007, 05:32 PM
Barns & No Bull
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I think the photo is real.

Robber Crab is another common name for these. The tail area only looks strange because they keep the tail curled underneath. Crabs have tails, but in most species it's tucked under the abdomen or carapace. Lobsters and crayfish (and a few other crabs) have an extended abdomen with large flukes for propulsive backwards swimming. Since these are land crabs, they have little use for their tail other than to hold eggs. They have the same ancestry as hermit crabs, and probably evolved towards not using a protective seashell on islands without predators. Nonetheless, this crab is being wiped out on many of its island homes. The introduction of exotic ants is causing havoc on the crabs. The ants kill the crabs in plague proportions. Read about it here.

BTW, them crabs is good eatin. I've had them in the South Pacific and it is as good as any other crabmeat. Coconut crab with sliced young coconut. Yum!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 16 August 2007, 06:48 PM
MiddleEye
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I am not doubting the reality of the crab at all. I have never heard of them before, but I completely except them as being real and as being huge.
Actually I'm not sure anyone here is arguing that the actual crab is fake. And the picture is plausible and I'm not sure why someone would fake it, but something about the crab still looks "wrong" to me. Regardless of how much tail they have or where they keep them the crab in this picture looks completely 2D. Even if the crab is supposed to be "flattish" it wouldn't be as flat as it appears in this picture. Even a flounder would have more dimension.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 16 August 2007, 07:49 PM
Hans Off's Avatar
Hans Off Hans Off is offline
 
Join Date: 14 May 2004
Location: West Sussex, UK
Posts: 4,328
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleEye View Post
Regardless of how much tail they have or where they keep them the crab in this picture looks completely 2D. Even if the crab is supposed to be "flattish" it wouldn't be as flat as it appears in this picture. Even a flounder would have more dimension.

It would with a straight on (camera mounted) fill flash. I vote real, the way it is gripping and the way the legs are wrapped around the bin look consistent. If it was a "shop chop" it falls foul of the first law (i.e. it could have been much more impressive but still plausable)

(Note: there are always exceptions to the rule!!!)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 16 August 2007, 08:20 PM
TuFurg TuFurg is offline
 
Join Date: 06 July 2005
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 1,251
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild1_74 View Post
And the very bottom (butt or tail or whatever) looks just like a hamburger to me???

Wild1_74
Quarter Pounder to be exact. I was scrolling down to see if anyone had mentioned it! I probably wouldn't have noticed but was looking closely after the third post.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 17 August 2007, 02:04 AM
One-Fang's Avatar
One-Fang One-Fang is offline
 
 
Join Date: 02 November 2005
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,610
Default

I did a google image search and the first page is loaded with pictures of coconut crabs and people. Not a one is anywhere near the scale of this one.

Unless that's a very small bin.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.