By David Pescovitz at 2:32 pm Tue, Jun 22, 2010
Enjoy this time-lapse video of a Japanese spider crab shedding its shell. (via Pink Tentacle, thanks Antinous!)
Gah, thanks for the heebie jeebies! The thought of all those still-squishy limbs slithering their way out of the old armor is making me feel a bit faint… That said, if the still squishy crab accidentally wandered into a deep fryer, I’d be all over it.
I need a cigarette.
Science can be educational and delicious!
What do you think it feels like? I’m imaging finally removing a scab, covering the entire body.
Perhaps, and I’m thinking the new soft shell would be very sensitive to touch before it hardens.
watching this made me feel uncomfortably claustrophobic, like taking off a ski jacket while riding in a prius
@8, that’s exactly what I was thinking. It must feel like when you lost your baby teeth – kind of itchy-hurty
Crab coming out.
Dead man’s crab.
Dead man’s curve.
My reaction to this was a jaw-dropping HOLY CRAP! I was NOT expecting that! Amazing!
Can someone explain to me how the mechanics of this works? It looks impossible!
Does the crab pulls his legs out first and store them somewhere in the old shell before pulling his body out? I ask because, it looks as if the legs are already loose by the time the body is out.
This is NOT like how I get out of my shirt. I get my body out and then pull each arm out separately. However, I remember seeing kids who pull both arms out and then push the shirt over their head, which looks like how this crab is doing it. Except I don’t understand where he puts his legs inside the shell!
I ran into a freshly molted lobster once in the shallows in New England. It was quite, quite gelatinous. Horrifyingly, nightmarishly gelatinous.
Not horrifyingly, nightmarishly delicious? I’m just imagining a soft-shelled, flash-fried lobster-claw, with an orange, white wine ginger & coriander sauce over the top…
More like this.
If it helps any, watch the limb motion. When it stops filter feeding with the first pair of limbs (And walking around on the other eight) and settles down, I’d say that’s when it’s started “shrugging” out of the legs. After that, the twitching is just secondary movement caused by pulling it’s legs out of the carapace’s legs.
Crab nudity!! NSFW!
the horror… @13 i bet there’s some secretion involved. yug, i like my bugs better with rice.
That’s awesome. I wonder how long the shell stays soft?
It looks like one leg got stuck on the way out. At about 1:06 you can see a little outside help via a stick poking at the leg in the old shell.
mmmm… softshell crab…
hmmm…sorry, i was distracted by the creepy radula action of the mollusks.
I kinda expected the little crabs to swarm the big crab when it finally molted.
Good lord. I was just expecting the top to pop off. WOW.
Now ZOIDBERG is the popular one!
It was starting to get a little cramped in there so I molted, why not?
Ah, the fresh air feels good!
It kind of just withdraws from the old carapace, doesn’t it?
The twitching and fidgeting before the molt is PMS – Pre-Molt Syndrome. No lie.
Oh, spider crab. You look so horrifying, but you’re so delicious.
Thanks for the replies.
Something interesting seems to happen between 50s and 59s marks. If you look at his 3rd left leg and 4th right leg (counting from the bottom), you see something white stick out of the front and then retreat back in. I wonder if that’s just him squishing around and pulling his legs in…
Ah, the precious aliens among us!
sweet jumpin jesus. that’s got to be one of the creepiest things i’ve ever seen.
now, get in my belly.
I’m with imnothere, the little skittery things and the tonguing mollusks were fabulous.
What I’d like to see: the crab trying to pull the old shell *back* on…
kill it with fire!
No! Kill it with boiling water, then make sure it’s dead with large doses of lemon and butter!
nuke it form orbit – it’s the only way to be sure.
Would someone (one of you kids) please post this video in reverse?
Mechanics of this explained here (doesn’t make it less creepy, though).
Wow. So shocking when it suddenly comes off.
Is it eating all those little crabs, by the way? It’s a little hard to tell.
Is it just me, or do you immediately thing about melting some butter and diving into a plate of softshells after watching this?
yes!! well, king crab legs for me! nom nom nom
thanks OP, i think those are the shells I find on Long Island and didn’t know who they came from.
Look at this giant specimen, holy smokes!
Now I want a spider hand roll.
When the legs came out I actually gasped. Amazing and beautiful.
Odd note: the youtube ad I got was for “BP’s Youtube Channel”. Regeneration and degeneration all at once.
Mail (will not be published) (required)
Submit a tip
The rules you agree to by using this website.
Who will be eaten first?
Jason Weisberger, Publisher
Ken Snider, Sysadmin