Incredible Photos of the Hermit Crabs Who Live In Trash
Instead of shells, these hermit crabs used plastic bottle caps and other trash.
With a new report released yesterday into the vast increases in ocean temperatures, human activity on marine life affects all ends of the food chain. Take, for example, the coenobita purpureus, or blueberry hermit crabs, of Okinawa. Like other hermit crabs, they also need shells to cover and protect their soft abdomens. But these particular hermit crabs have had to adapt to their changing environment—instead of shells, their homes are pieces of trash.
At first, photographer Shawn Miller was amazed to see how the hermit crabs were adapting. That was in 2010. “Over the years”, he writes on email, “I continued to find more crabs with trash homes. I noticed more trash piling up on our shorelines searching for hermit crabs and realized it was a serious problem.”
For hermit crabs, protecting their abdomen is an essential part of survival. They also need to be able to retreat completely into their shell—or bottle cap. In Miller’s pictures, he felt it was important to capture the hermit crabs in their natural environment—which included the beach trash that they repurpose for homes. “I wanted to bring awareness to our pollution problems on our shorelines.”
Here, a peek at the plastic homes of Okinawa’s hermit crabs.
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