Aww!
Woman finds a naked hermit crab and helps him find a new home
She found this "Goldilocks" hermit crab a home that fit "just right." ❤️
Elijah Chan
12.30.22

Sometimes, nature can need a bit of a helping hand.

Rebecca Nguyen was walking down a beach in Little Corona del Mar in California when she encountered a strange and rare thing.


Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling
Source:
Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling

Underneath the gentle rolling of the waves, she found something like a sea spider.

Upon closer inspection, it was a hermit crab but without a shell.

Nguyen was worried about the hermit crab.

Like most of us, it was Nguyen’s first time seeing a “naked and homeless” hermit crab.

She was only afforded a short time to appreciate the moment, however.


Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling
Source:
Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling

“They rarely expose themselves like this since they are so vulnerable without a shell,” she said to the Dodo.

She then proceeded to help the poor crab.

Shell evacuation isn’t necessarily an alarming thing.

Just like other crustaceans, hermit crabs molt and grow their shells out. They evacuate their shells as soon as it gets too small and cramped for them.

Sometimes, stressful situations can drive them out of their shells.

These situations include inhospitable environments, fungi, or other organisms entering the shell.

Hermit crabs rely on their homes for protection, so they must find a replacement as soon as possible.

Nguyen understood the dangers threatening the poor thing.

“I started running around like a mad woman looking for a new home for him,” Nguyen told the Dodo.

She combed the immediate area and looked for empty shells of varying sizes.

At that moment, Nguyen shifted careers and entered ocean real estate as she presented the crab with various options.

First, she gave a white shell which the crab immediately veered away from.

She also presented him with a second one, still a studio type, but alas, the space wasn’t enough.


Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling
Source:
Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling

She finally convinced him to sign a lease on a brown shell.

It doesn’t have a parking garage, but the crab can bring it to places with great views.

Nguyen shared that it was a frantic yet fulfilling search.

She shared in the video’s caption that many of the shells she found already have occupants.

She didn’t stop until she found the perfect one for her client.


Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling
Source:
Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling

“I had to go a little of a distance to find that perfect shell,” Nguyen said to The Dodo.

“He was obviously very interested in that shell when I brought it. It was the only shell he went towards instead of away from.”

Interestingly, shell evacuation can be a communal event.

In a video presented by BBC Earth, a group of hermit crabs in varying sizes congregate when they’re about to molt and move out of their shells.


Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling
Source:
Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling

Once the biggest crab of the congregation moves into a bigger shell, it starts a cascade of move-ins where the next biggest crab moves into the recently vacated one.

The transfers continue until the smallest one at the end of the line gets the last vacated shell.

And while they can do it on their one, Nguyen shared that there was a certain level of fulfillment about what she did.

Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling
Source:
Instagram Screenshot - @socal.shelling

“It’s rare that we are presented with an opportunity to help wild animals out like this,” Nguyen said. “It feels gratifying.”

Click the video below to see Nguyen find a new home for a sweet hermit crab!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Elijah Chan
[email protected]
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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