— Chesapeake Bay Found (@chesapeakebay) May 31, 2017
This poor crab looks like the result of a seafood Frankenstein experiment gone wrong.
The Washington Post reports that the mayor of Chesapeake Bay’s Tangier Island, James “Ooker” Eskridge, found this bizarre crustacean with oysters literally growing out of its head (and next to its eyes) last week in his crab pot.
The Frankencrab, which experts at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation confirmed to the Post to still be alive as of Wednesday, came to be because oyster larvae are running out of places to anchor themselves for growth. Pollution in the Chesapeake Bay has significantly diminished the amount of reefs that the mollusks could attach themselves to, so the larvae have had to turn to new locations like old oyster shells and live crab shells.
In fact, local fisherman have dug up crabs with tiny oysters attached to claws or other parts of their body before, but it’s extremely rare to see oysters so big sprouting right next to the crab’s eyes.
A crab unlike any you’ve ever seen has been pulled from the Chesapeake Bay https://t.co/288izuP9Fj
— Post Local (@postlocal) June 1, 2017
Unfortunately, the poor crab has had to deal with some harsh consequences for becoming the unwitting home for the shellfish. Chesapeake Bay Foundation spokesperson Tom Zolper states that because the oysters are so close to the crab’s eyes, it likely cannot see straight ahead and can only look upward. The crustacean has probably tried to knock the oysters off using its claws, but obviously failed since they wouldn’t still be there otherwise.
This disturbing combo of crab and oyster may be seen more frequently since pollution has been identified as a reason this abomination happened in the first place. Considering that the current administration recently decided to pull us out of a global climate change effort that committed the United States to decreasing pollution, that chance is now even more likely.