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Steamed crabs

Source: Michael Pohuski / Getty

If you’ve never heard of a coconut crab, you’re not alone–but be very glad you’re learning about them through the internet instead of casually coming across one of them on your walk to work. The coconut crab, also known as the robber crab or palm thief, can grow up to be 3-feet in length and weighing up to 9-pounds.  You only have to worry about coming across one of these frightening animals if you live in Indonesia, islands across the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific Ocean…the species has been completely demolished from both mainland Australia and Madagascar.

Pictures of these frightening creatures began surfacing all over Twitter, and everyone is super freaked out about how huge these things are. They are renowned for their tree-climbing abilities and taste for coconuts–hence, coconut crab–which they crack open with their powerful claws. They do sometimes eat meat, but until now it was thought that they only obtained it by opportunistic scavenging.

Beside coconut crabs being completely and utterly frightening, there’s also some pretty weird conspiracy theories about the species that live online. The weirdest theory is that the giant crabs crowded together and overwhelmed Amelia Earhart, dismembering her and carrying her bones underground.

Click through the next few pages to see more disheartening pictures of the coconut crab–take it from us, seeing the crabs next to other animals like dogs and cats will make it even harder for you to sleep tonight.

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