King crabs invade Antarctica
The Kamtchatka giant crab, a species of king crab is native to the Bering Sea, north Pacific Ocean, around the Kamchatka Peninsula and neighboring Alaskan waters. (Getty Images)
September 14th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

King crabs invade Antarctica

Editor's Note: The following text is from GlobalPost, which provides excellent coverage of world news – importantmoving and just odd.

King crabs — three-feet-wide red monsters that devour everything in their path — have invaded Antarctica. While it sounds a little like a horror movie, it's actually a large scale global warming problem. According to the New Scientist, three years ago, scientists had predicted that this would happen, but they believed the earth would have warmed to this degree in the next 100 years.

The earth has warmed a little earlier than they predicted. According to Craig Smith, a professor of oceanography at the University of Hawaii, whose team discovered the relocation, millions of these crabs have begun to crawl around by Antarctica. The crabs were known to inhabit the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand, but now they can be found south of South America. Worse, they're wiping out local wildlife, and causing large scale destruction where they go, reports the New Scientist. 

The crabs live on starfish and sea urchins, and most of these animals are now gone, reports the Huffington Post. A video taken by a remotely operated submersible shows that the crabs have already colonized a basin in the Antarctic Peninsula's continental shelf. The video footage also shows that the crabs "prod, gash and puncture" the sediment, altering natural processes such as how organic matter is buried.

The implications are terrifying, as Jen Doll from the Village Voice points out: "After millions of years of the crabs not being able to cross the cold water of the continental they can."

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Topics: Animals • Environment • Odd

soundoff (467 Responses)
  1. sdgman

    Well, hell.. there's an EASY solution for that problem. No more limits on fishing!

    September 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  2. terrill


    September 23, 2011 at 2:45 am | Reply
  3. Lenny

    Now the poor huddled masses in the US and elsewhere can dine in style for a change. Everybody eats King Crab. Kill two birds with one stone. Problem solved. Just kidding, I do worry a lot about the ever more visible signs of climate change,and the effects they will have on the planet, for my kids and grand-kids.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  4. sielingfan

    "The earth has warmed earlier than expected." OR, alternatively, the researchers were not crabs, and as a result have a limited understanding of how the Crab functions.

    September 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  5. Drinker

    I'll eat them to take of the problem if they'd like....

    September 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  6. Steve

    1. Global warming is real
    2. Crabs are delicious but bad for your health (they are s%t eaters-bottom feeders)
    3.Egypt will start a war with Israel from the Sinai Peninsula, bringing in other Arab countries, temporarily sending oil prices up until #4:.
    4. We are in the beginning stages of a global economic contraction that will bring down the price of Crab legs (and everything else.)
    5. 95% of all species that have been on earth are extinct.
    6. Belief in anything is just that, belief. And reason isn't fact.
    7. When you realize and accept how unfair things are you can start to enjoy living.

    September 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  7. Googolplex in yummy in your tummy ?
    ...well, well, well.
    We can't eat sea stars, and sea urchins taste why not make hay while the sun shines...and eat 'em all ?!!!

    Anyone looking for business opportunities....and here seems to a no brainer.....anyone wanna ship a few tonnes of Antarctica king crabs to California ?

    September 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  8. mark

    I wouldn't worry too much about this invasion. We will fish them to extinction anyhow...

    September 26, 2011 at 12:35 am | Reply
  9. Andrew

    Are they good eatin'?

    September 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  10. chris

    what was the name of the recommended book about the writing of J M Barrie?

    September 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  11. Kurt

    The Earth's got crabs in it's Antarctic region? I think there's medication for that.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • GrammarPickee

      The head lice stuff works just as well.

      October 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  12. Rick Stevens

    Did you ever think that maybe these giant king crabs are really some alien species that has been living side by side with humanity in their own submersed world.

    September 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  13. Bluidshay

    Hey...I have an idea. Drop the price of Alaskan King Crab at the fish counter to a reasonable price due to the increased availablity, and I will be more than happy to do my part to cull their population! Pass the butter please!

    October 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • Boris

      I'm in....Yum!!!

      October 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  14. GrammarPickee

    sashimi time

    October 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  15. Nate

    It is much more likely that the king crabs were intentionally or unintentionally relocated by man, rather than getting there BAKAUSE O TEH GLOBALZ WARMINZZ OMGGGGGG

    October 11, 2011 at 4:40 am | Reply
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    December 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  17. James Dunne

    the real problem is overpopulaton. Pay women to ge sterilized, more $ the younger she is, problem fixed. Most of the 3rd world, 1k for the doctors, 1k for the girl, and it'll get about a billion women sterilized before they have any kids, and 5k would get a billioon more.

    December 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  18. Marika

    Great entry! Some more info about animals living in Antartica you can find on web page Krill sustainability is a global concern studied by scientists, conservationists, and governmental organizations. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is the management organization responsible for monitoring the fisheries working in the oceans around Antarctica. It's worth to visit!

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  25. bigbear49i

    No limit fishing will clean those crabs out in a few years.

    September 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Reply
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