Yeti Crab

The Yeti Crab (Kiwa hirsuta, trans. ‘WTF?’) was discovered in early 2005 near a hydrothermal vent on the bottom of the South Pacific Ocean. At first, it was believed to be the first benthic muppet ever found, but jubilation quickly turned to disappointment when it became obvious that whatever this thing was, it clearly couldn’t count to ten. So, like nearly every new species discovery, this too was absolutely pointless.

Why am I here?

Let’s be frank. K. hirsuta encapsulates everything wrong with science: it never gets its priorities straight. We are already tasked with learning almost two million classified animal species – and that’s enough. We’re good. We’re all set. And unless a new species is something that might eat us, we don’t need to know about it.

But scientists rarely see the forests for the trees. Eager to justify their PhDs and research grants, they live to find a new species – however ridiculous – and give it a name, thus securing their place in the Pantheon of Nerds for all time.

You might want to make flash cards.

And ridiculous the Yeti Crab is. First, it’s blind. This may have to do with its living on the bottom of the ocean floor, but it’s just another reason that we have nothing to fear from it and thus no reason to be bothered with its existence. Second, it has hair-like filaments that some scientists think it might use to trap bacteria. Or not. The point is, who cares? What is important is this: crustaceans shouldn’t have hair. It’s confusing. So if you’re a scientist bobbing around the bottom of the ocean floor in a deep-sea submersible and you see something like this – keep it to yourself. Maybe run it over first, then keep it to yourself. Regardless, don’t tell anyone. Nobody needs to know.

Speaking of submersibles, the vehicle used to discover the Yeti Crab is called Alvin. It was actually used in 1966 to find and retrieve a hydrogen bomb that had been lost after an American B-52 crashed over the Mediterranean Sea. If science had its priorities straight, Alvin would be used 99% of the time for locating nuclear bombs and less than 1% of the time for looking for another stupid new species. In reality, most of that 1% would actually just go into maintenance — and should no maintenance be required, we could conveniently lose another hydrogen bomb. If all went well, literally no pointless research would go on aboard the Alvin.

Like this excerpt from pointless research:

Although it is often referred to as the “furry lobster” outside the scientific literature, Kiwa hirsuta is not a true lobster but is more closely related to squat lobsters and hermit crabs.

Two things here:

1. Yick.
2. WTF, Science?

Anyway, if this your first introduction to the Yeti Crab and you hadn’t heard of it before – sorry.

You were definitely better off without this knowledge in your brain.


12 responses to “Yeti Crab

  1. Is this one of those new designer crabs I’ve been hearing so much about? I wonder if there is a waiting list to get one?

  2. Cool! Is it tasty?

  3. Great. Another thing I have to shave before I can eat it.

  4. Pingback: *UPDATE* - Not cool, Science « Animal Review

  5. This article advocates ignorance. Im no scientist but I enjoy exploring our world and seeing the wonders and mysteries it has. Learning about them is thrilling. Its sad that the writer of this obviously wants to live in a bubble and have nothing exciting to see. Everything should be normal and boring…just shoot me now and let me be done with my boring pathetic life.

  6. Uh dude. You can be insane, and hunt for the Wumpus, but all the rest of us are going to enjoy what the human mind naturally tends towards. Normality and consistency. Case and point.

  7. I know it’s a joke anyway, but still…the yeti crab is cool looking and interesting. I’d rather something like this be discovered than a new kind of dolphin (nature’s pedo smile)

  8. Science has been far too free with how they name these animals.
    What is a scientist to do when they find an enormous furry crab in the mountains of Nepal? The perfect name has already been taken.
    New rule: if you’re going to name a new animal, the name cannot be more interesting than the animal in question. Why not just name it after yourself, that should be uninteresting enough.

  9. As an ex-scientist I’d like to agree with every single point you’ve made about science. Furry crabs,really? What about AIDS and the hole in the ozone? Love this website

  10. Wow… Someone made a good point earlier about being in a bubble and are you ever there!

    To the “ex scientist” you can go get your degree in something worth while and actually contribute to the points you made. Way to waste a powerfull brain on crying and not contributing.

    What would happen if we found out that “lobster” was as important to the marine ecosystem as bees are to the rest of the world? Close minds keep the world from evolving into a better and smarter place.

  11. i think we have a right to know about every animal in this world. i mean come i think the crab is cool and we shouldn’t eat it who knows its not some rare animal?

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