Crustaceans are near and dear to me, because in many ways I am one. I am a Cancer, for one, and I grew up being referred to as a crab or crabby, by my mother. As I grew into the weird adolescent I was, (with blue hair and baggy band shirts, black lipstick, big boots and short skirts) my mom started to give a death stare to give my blue hair while she was driving, always making me worried we would end up in an accident. That stare was akin to attempted murder and no less! I was disturbed by the obvious correlation I noticed between the energy and intent of that stare and how my mom would go to the Asian market and come home with a bag of live crabs and tear them apart and cook and eat them.
My mom loves to laugh about this now, but it was traumatizing to me back then. The utmost animosity was palpable and I’m sure she wouldn’t have minded breaking my dangerous claws and cooking me too. I would have been a lot more manageable on a plate rather than out in the world tempting fate.
I relate to crabs for their skittish sideways movements that doesn’t allow them to ever simply move forward. A rare few species have this ability, but the majority lack it. This inability to move forward effortlessly from point A to B is somewhat true for all of us humans in our lives. No matter how straightforward a path seems, it is always a bit meandering with little turns and stops and things that set us back after we’ve been launched forward.
There is also of course, the way a crab likes to sit in warm water, like me. And of the hermit variety, have a shell to retreat into at will. A shell that always goes with them, allowing a crab to perpetually be home, my favourite place to be. The shell is a desirable tough exterior that protects their endearing soft insides. I am fascinated by these crustaceans’ sensitive, snappy nature. Their strength and simultaneous delicacy. I love duality, as demonstrated by many of my previous posts. Complexity is the spice of life. The behavior patterns of these crustaceans are often referred to as complex. Yet since they can’t make sounds or give kisses, they communicate by drumming or waving their pincers. Oh how I envy them for that language! Crabs never say the wrong thing, are never remorseful, wounded or wound up by words.
According to WikiAnswers, there are over 5000 species of Crabs in the whole world but only 4500 species are true crabs the other 500 crabs are hermit crabs which are not even closely related to ‘true’ crabs.
Who can blame a crustacean for wanting to be a crab, even when they’re not? 6,793 different species of crabs are known. In addition there are about 850 species of freshwater or semi-terrestrial crabs.
This guy, the biggested crab in captivity is a Giant Japanese Spider King Crab. He was found in Toyko back in February this year. They called him called “Crabs Kong”at a UK aquarium.
There are cutie crabs:
Ugly (but still loveable) crabs:
And Boxer crabs (wouldn’t want to battle him!):
While researching crabs for part of my novella that I submitted as my MA thesis, I learned some other things. That crabs have been around for millions of years and learned to live in some of the harshest conditions on the planet, in hydrothermal vents deep in the sea. This was a valuable epiphany for me, at a time in my life when everything is changing, and with my history of handling change rather poorly and taking forever to adapt to things. So as in my thesis, the crab has grown from being a creature I can relate to or liken myself to, to being my mascot.
Is there a creature you feel this kind of connection to?