Crab in 10 languages
Crabs have existed since the Jurassic period (200- 145 million years ago) and live all over the world, in fresh and sea water and on the land, with around 850 species currently known to humans.
They are decapod (ten-legged) crustaceans. Just as an aside, how many people learned about decapods from Tamatoa in Moana? Turns out that he is a coconut crab, a type of hermit crab which is actually not that closely related to real crabs!
You might be thinking that crabs are pretty boring, but I’m sure that they are a big part of anyone’s memories of summers at the seaside, right?
Here are a few facts to make you reconsider crabs (from Wikipedia):
- Both the constellation Cancer and the astrological sign Cancer are named after the crab, and depicted as a crab.
- William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse drew the Crab Nebula in 1848 and noticed its similarity to the animal; the Crab Pulsar lies at the centre of the nebula.
- The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped nature, especially the sea, and often depicted crabs in their art.
- In Greek mythology, Karkinos was a crab that came to the aid of the Lernaean Hydra as it battled Heracles.
- One of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, The Crab that Played with the Sea, tells the story of a gigantic crab who made the waters of the sea go up and down, like the tides.
- The Kapsiki people of North Cameroon use the way crabs handle objects for divination.
What did you think?
Did you learn anything new?
Whilst crabs are not endangered, they are still a much-loved and necessary part of many ocean ecosystems – I am hoping to raise awareness of the plastic and other pollutants in the sea and the impact that they are having on sea-life.
Thanks for reading!