“Monstrous”. That was the only word Charles Darwin could find to describe the coconut crab when he first saw one for himself.
This was no ordinary crab. The coconut crab stretches three feet long, and though it only weighs eight or nine pounds, it’s strong enough to carry more than six times its own weight.
In Darwin’s time, there were stories floating around about what these things could do.
There were rumors that they could climb trees and dangle from them for hours, holding on by nothing more than a single pincer-like some massive overgrown spider. There were stories that their claws were so strong that they could break through a coconut. And there were stories that they could tear a human being apart, limb by limb.
At the time, Darwin didn’t believe most of what he’d heard, but it was no exaggeration. Since then, we’ve found out that every story about what this horrifying-looking creature can do is more or less true.
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