Hermit Crab Uses Plastic Container as Shell

Footage shot on the Australian territory of Christmas Island shows a hermit crab using a plastic container as a shell.

The close-up footage was captured by Hung-Chang Liu, a Taiwan-based zoologist, who told Storyful that he has regularly visited Christmas Island for two months at a time to study crabs there.

As hermit crabs can’t create their own shells, they would normally use discarded shells of other animals. Liu posted the footage to YouTube earlier in 2021 on March 9, but informed Storyful that this particular moment was captured in March 2013.

A 2019 study found that over half a million of the crustaceans had been killed across the Keeling Islands (another Australian territory) in the Indian Ocean, plus a further 60,000-plus on Henderson Island in the Pacific after getting stuck in debris such as plastic bottles.

The bottles, a CNN report noted, were called “deadly traps” by researchers at the University of Tasmania, at the time.

According to Parks Australia, three types of hermit crab are present on Christmas Island; the red hermit crab (Coenobita perlatus), purple hermit crab (Coenobita brevimanus) and tawny hermit crab (Coenobita rugosus). Credit: Hung-Chang Liu via Storyful

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