Creepy Animals

…they're really interesting.

Oct 18 2010

Creature of the Deep: Japanese Spider Crab

Man holding largest Spider Crab in the world.

It would look even better next to a bowl of melted butter.

Crabs are some of the most delectable creatures the ocean has to offer. And just in time to ruin your day, we bring you the Japanese Spider Crab – the creepiest and largest of edible crustacean treats.

These behemoth crabs feed on shellfish and animal carcasses on the sea floor in deep waters near Japan. They are considered a culinary delicacy. Mmm…detritus never tasted so good.

Also to note is that Japanese Spider Crabs can grow to over 12 feet and may live up to 100 years. The terrifyingly tasty morsel in the photo above isn’t even all that big. This crab below was featured in Popular Science in 1920 and measures 12 feet claw to claw:

Biggest spider crab in museum.

Holy crab! Look at those meaty legs!

May 2 2010

Creature of the Deep: Giant Isopod

Giant Isopod legs.

Is this the prequel to District 9?

The Giant Isopod is a scavenger of the deep, deep seas that happens to be distant relative of the woodlouse, or pill bug. It can curl up into a ball of sorts. Want to see? Didn’t think so.

A very special thank you to dear reader Jessica, who surfaced this beast of the benthic zone.

Feb 22 2010

Unapologetically Creepy: Tongue-eating Parasite

Parasite on fish tongue.

Say hello to my little friend.

If this isn’t a creepy animal, then we may as well close shop. The Tongue-eating Parasite is an absolutely repulsive crustacean that truly lives up to its name. It enters through a fish’s gills, then latches onto the host’s tongue. Once fully secure, the parasite gorges on the blood supply. In due time the tongue shrinks to nothing and the parasite literally replaces it, carrying on as a functioning ‘tongue’. The gluttony continues – with its prime location in the mouth, the parasite continues to consume whatever comes its way, like blood, mucus, foodstuffs. Mmmmm.

Tongue eating parasite in hand.

This 'site isn't for everyone.

Photo via Fishing Fury

Feb 16 2010

Coconut Crab

Coconut crab on garbage.

They don't call them scavengers for nothing.

The Coconut Crab‘s got swagger. This crustacean lives in paradise in the coastal forests of the Indo-Pacific islands and has been known to ‘steal’ shiny objects such as silverware and pots. What a life.

The Coconut Crab also lives up to its name – it can crack open a coconut with its massive pincers. Can it also pour in a shot of rum and pop in a straw? Someday we hope to come across a Cocktail Crab…

Photo via letterdash

Jan 29 2010

Animal Anomaly: Two-toned Lobster

Lobster with two colors.

Buy 1 get 1 half off?

This Two-toned Lobster was caught by a lobster fisherman in Maine a few years ago. The color split is the result of a simple abnormality – half the shell lacks the blue pigment. We love this specimen so much because it looks as if it is half-cooked:

  • Brown = raw, live crustacean ready to take off your finger
  • Orange = tasty morsels ready to be dipped in melted butter

Fortunately, the Two-toned Lobster now lives in an aquarium for all to gawk at. It has been noted that the odds of finding a two-toned lobster is approximately 1 in 50 million.

Oct 12 2009

Creature of the Deep: Yeti Crab

Yeti crab arms.

Yeti, finally captured!

What’s long and white and has bristles all over? A bottle brush! Just kidding. It’s the Yeti Crab. This little creature was found deep underwater in the hydrothermal vent ecosystem of the mid-ocean ridges near Easter Island. The Yeti Crab eats mussels on the sea floor, but also uses the bristles on its long arms to host colonies of specialized bacteria, possibly as another source of food.

We think this pear-shaped crustacean looks rather like a tick – but an adorable one if there is such a thing. There is no doubt, however, that it resembles this depiction of a Yeti:

Yeti movie.

He looks quite warm in the snow. The Yeti that is.

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