Tourist turned viral photo subject Mark Pierrot's recent trip to Australia's Christmas Island gave him the chance to hang out with some of the locals, including this utterly gigantic coconut crab—the largest known land arthropod on Earth. The tropical island is home to more than a million of these huge crabs, in case you're wondering where not to go on vacation.
Coconut crabs can grow up to 16 inches, with a leg span of three feet, and weigh up to nine pounds, and will now be the subject of nightmares for countless readers everywhere. You're welcome!
Their size has earned them the nickname "crabzilla," and they're also sometimes called "robber crabs" because they steal everything (including your SOUL—not really), according to Linda Cash, the Christmas Island marketing manager.
If you ever find yourself trying to escape from a coconut crab, it's good to know that they can climb trees, but they'll drown in water. So will you, but that might be preferable to having to spend any extended amount of time around one of these creatures.
Coconut crabs are often hunted for their meat, which residents of many islands consider to be a delicacy and an aphrodisiac. But they're safe on Christmas Island, where it's illegal to hunt and eat them—and people who break that law can be fined up to $4,000. No word on what happens if it's just self defense.
The typical coconut crab's diet consists of coconuts (duh), fruit, dead animals, other crabs, and the occasional tourist (that last part may be made up).