Family BBQ in Australia Crashed and 'Swarmed' by Dozens of Giant Robber Crabs
One onlooker said her son counted 52 robber crabs — also known as coconut crabs — trying to steal the family's food
Talk about a dinner to remember.
A group of Australian families was left surprised after a slew of robber crabs crashed their outdoor picnic party during a recent camping trip.
Taking place on a campsite in Christmas Island, Australia, the families were cooking their food when dozens of robber crabs — also known as coconut crabs — showed up to their festivities looking for something to eat.
Christmas Island Tourism posted about the occurrence on its Facebook page, writing, "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."
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According to Parks Australia, the robber crab is the biggest land crustacean in the world and can weigh up to 9 pounds and measure 3 feet in width.
"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," they report. "They are found in most parts of the island, usually sheltering during the day and venturing out at night or on overcast days."
Noting how they are closely related to hermit crabs, the statement also adds that they feed mainly on fruits, seeds, and the pith of fallen trees.