A hoard of giant crabs have crashed a family’s BBQ and caused quite a fright in Western Australia.
Christmas Island Tourism shared spectacular photos online of the robber crabs, sometimes referred to as coconut crabs, “behaving badly” on September 19.
The roaming creatures surrounded a group of family and friends as they cooked sausages for dinner.
“Coconut crabs have an incredible sense of smell and for slow moving creatures they sure move quickly when there’s food around,” the Facebook post said.
“Please note that Robber Crabs are protected (and respected) here on Christmas Island.”
The photos show the crabs swarming around foldable camping chairs and the locals as they eat.
In one image, a young girl is seen lifting her legs as the crabs inched closer to her.
A Facebook user described the scene as “stuff of nightmares” in the comment section.
“Eek, do they eat small children?” another person said.
“Not usually!” Christmas Island Tourism jokingly replied.
“We've never actually heard of anyone being nipped by a robber crab, they are very placid creatures.”
Someone in the comments likened the robber crabs to puppies, explaining they are very “docile and cute”.
“They are such amazing creatures and have been eaten into extinction in other parts of the world,” Christmas Island Tourism explained.
Robber crabs are the largest land crustacean in the world, according to Christmas Island’s National Park website.
The island boasts the world’s largest and best protected population.
“The robber crab is named because of its habit of carrying off any foreign items it comes across – they are particularly fond of shiny objects such as pots and silverware,” Parks Australia says on its website.
“Christmas Islanders know all about the crabs’ thieving ways and will often hang their bag from a tree branch while camping or swimming instead of leaving it on the ground.”
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