Family Sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ When Giant Robber Crabs Invade Their BBQ

A family trying to enjoy a spring camping barbecue on an idyllic Christmas Island got more than they bargained for when quickly surrounded by dozens of giant robber crabs.

Christmas Island Tourism posted about the ᴛʜɪᴇᴠɪɴɢ crabs on Facebook and wrote: “Please note that Robber Crabs are protected Our mischievous robber crabs made headlines all around the country this week when they showed up unannounced at a family BBQ here on Christmas Island.”

Speaking with Daily Mail Australia, Amy Luetich, who witnessed the event, said that she had never experienced so many of the creatures at one time before.

“We have camped in that area a few times and we have never seen so many robber crabs,” she said. “As soon as we started cooking, they swarmed around us. My son counted 52 of them.”

She added, “Then they started to climb up to the table, and another climbed onto the barbecue. We kept our tents away from where we had eaten, but one of the families said the whole night they could feel one tapping on the outside of their tent.”

The crabs themselves are known as robber crabs, or coconut crabs, and they pose basically no ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛ to humans whatsoever, beyond – as their name suggests – occasionally scoping out some food from campsites. They are the largest land-living arthropod in the world, weighing up to 9 pounds, so their size alone is impressive. But apparently they also have an incredible sense of smell.

“Christmas Island has the world’s largest and best protected population of these gentle giants, which can live to be more than 50 years old,” the department reports. “They are found in most parts of the island, usually sheltering during the day and venturing out at night or on overcast days.”

Although Robber crabs are considered a delicacy in parts of Southeast Asia, they are a protected species on the island. The picnickers decided to leave them be and snapped lots of pictures instead.

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