28 Jan2011

Suicidal Crab…

by Marketman


We were at the beach a couple of weeks ago and I noticed something in the pool early one morning. A medium sized, very dead crab. How it got there was a mystery to me. At first I thought we had an escapee from the previous day’s chili crab dish. Then I thought maybe his or her significant other had gotten flattened by a truck tire and life wasn’t worth living anymore. But then the bantay or caretaker said she had found many crabs over the years in the pool… all meeting the same fate. How weird is that? We are roughly 30-35 meters ABOVE sea level, up at least 50-60 or more steps from the sand. Crabs would not only have to negotiate up a steep incline, but cross sidewalks, a cement paved street, a rock paved driveway and concrete pavers and gravel to even get close to the pool. And to do all of that only to look in, jump and drown?


I suppose crabs can travel great distances on land (some cross islands in Indonesia I once saw on a television show) and think any body of water must connect to the sea. We need to figure out a way to keep them from committing the crustacean equivalent of sepuko. First we had birds, then frogs, and now crabs. He or she was given a proper burial. Didn’t want to try eating double dead crab. :)



  1. Thel from Florida says:

    Our newly built retirement home (with swimming pool) is about 200 feet from the bay. We often caught live baby crabs in our swimming pool. How they got there? we don’t know.

    Jan 28, 2011 | 6:12 am


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  3. ka_fredo says:

    I think they can smell moisture and move towards it. Also, chlorinated pool water, not good for gills…

    Jan 28, 2011 | 7:15 am

  4. JE says:

    After seeing your picture, I keep hearing noir movie music.

    Jan 28, 2011 | 7:25 am

  5. K says:

    I think it’s a He.

    Jan 28, 2011 | 7:29 am

  6. tonceq says:

    Funny how homes near provinces (or at least less commercial abodes) attract a multitude of beings… I remember Baguio where your daily visitors range from small beetles, gigantic moths and even snakes! but nothing beats the feeling of being so close to nature! Sleep, is usually much better in the provinces with or without aircon! :)

    Jan 28, 2011 | 8:14 am

  7. Peach says:

    Maybe it’s a land crab? I don’t know that for a fact but I got curious, googled and came across an interesting study. Here’s the very long link which you can paste onto your browswer — http://books.google.com/books?id=RR09AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA35&lpg=PA35&dq=land+crabs+philippines&source=bl&ots=moPdN7Glc8&sig=gG72ZHZBTEt6eiOwJkHR9a212O4&hl=en&ei=uw1CTem2AsL4cdSg_fAN&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBwQ6AEwAzgK#v=onepage&q=land%20crabs%20philippines&f=false.

    Jan 28, 2011 | 8:32 am

  8. hiddendragon says:

    It’s those dang infinity pools! ‘Em crabs think they are the continuation of the waters they call home.

    Jan 28, 2011 | 8:52 am

  9. J says:

    What a sad, sad photo. :(

    Jan 28, 2011 | 10:42 am

  10. ysa says:

    curiosity killed the cat… or in this case, the crab. ;)

    Jan 28, 2011 | 11:10 am

  11. Isa Garchitorena says:

    With all your chili crab experience, you should be able to tell this is a boy crab, no?

    It IS also pretty amazing how crab can move and travel, I highly suggest National Geographic’s “Great Migrations” series. They have a great segment on the annual migration of the Christmas crab, they travel miles! With a lot of uphill and downhill too. There are even tree climbing crab.

    Isn’t nature wonderful?

    Jan 28, 2011 | 12:23 pm

  12. Cecile says:

    this post reminds me of the Kagang & Pasgang/Crab & Crab Trap you posted MM…i like the content of this post…sounds funny to me specially the last line of the 1st paragraph, sad day for the crab/s though… :)

    Jan 28, 2011 | 1:57 pm

  13. kurzhaar says:

    Seagulls will pick up crabs and clams and such and drop them from some height to kill them or break open the shells. They’re smart birds and know to look for a hard surface.

    Jan 28, 2011 | 2:09 pm

  14. sister says:

    Crabs are pretty hardy. I remember one Christmas 50 years ago our parents were gifted with a kaing of live crabs while we were living in QC. The basket was kept in the back “dirty” kitchen and somehow was overturned during the night. For years thereafter we would find live crabs skittering away in the garden or swimming in Mom’s little golfish pond so they were probably breeding as well. They also were in the canal behind the kitchen living amongst the lemon grass planted there. Maybe your crab died from the clorinated water in your pool.

    Jan 28, 2011 | 4:46 pm

  15. ArtArt says:

    probably this crab attempts to send message to the human race just like Mumble of Happy Feet. Mr. Crab failed but it’s a nice try. :)

    Jan 28, 2011 | 9:43 pm

  16. Joey says:

    The suicide was due to depression- it couldn’t take the term “crab mentality” any longer… :-)

    Jan 28, 2011 | 10:01 pm

  17. kit says:

    I agree with peach. I think its a land crab. it doesn’t have the paddles for swimming.

    Jan 28, 2011 | 11:46 pm

  18. dred says:

    Hi MM,

    this confirms my father’s theory that Crab Mentality should have been a positive attitude.
    We’re into buy & sell business many years before, and had observed crabs were not pulling each other down. But they’re even making pyramid in container’s corner so they could overturned it or helping each other escape one by one.

    And this is called perseverance. di ba? In this case, crab wanted to see the other side of his world, but was dehydrated kaya na tsugi. hahahhaa.

    Jan 29, 2011 | 12:51 am

  19. meg says:

    I hate to say this but the crab died not because of the chlorinated water, but because the pool is dirty. Look at the tiles, the grout is to slimy.

    Jan 29, 2011 | 2:21 am

  20. satomi says:

    Yeah, I agree with them. I think it’s a land crab. link http://www.stjohnbeachguide.com/Land%20Crab.htm

    Jan 29, 2011 | 5:15 am

  21. Marketman says:

    meg, don’t always judge a book by its apparent cover. The pool is made of natural rough Indonesian green stone tiles, and the grouting starts off green/grey on purpose to complement the stone. Not all pools have white tiles and white grout, like a 1960’s baño. As with almost all swimming pools, this one is chlorinated to the levels recommended by the pool companies who check it for ph level. However, being out in the relative “wild,” the pool is definitely used less often and probably cleaned less often than say a swimming pool in a sports club that has inordinately high levels of chlorine and muriatic acid. I think the crab would more likely die of chlorine than of algae or “slime” in a body of water. :)

    Actually, the likely answer is that once he decided to jump into the pool, there was no way out for him due to the 90 degree angled sides, so he drowned from exhaustion from swimming about with a lack of food and the chlorine poisoning…

    dred, I think we have to watch the pyramid frenzy to its conclusion. If one crab does finally make it to the top and escapes from the bucket, does he stick around to pull the others out? I suspect not. Therefore, everyone helps to get one crab out of the bind, or as many escape as the pyramid can support, but the rest of the crabs are left behind while the escapees head off to lalaland… the survival instinct is perhaps a more PC term for “crab mentality”… I once watched a TV program that outlined who was most likely to survive a plane crash on land or sea where passengers had just seconds to get out of the fuselage before they died of smoke inhalation or other causes.. was it the polite folks who allowed elderly and children out first and who formed patient lines… or was it the crazed “I want to live at all costs” maniacs who bullied their way to the doors and safety — climbing over chairs, not using the aisles, pushing their way out as quickly as possible? It was the latter. Survival instinct.

    Jan 29, 2011 | 6:09 am

  22. Biy says:

    so much fun reading on this blog and postings , cant permanently back-off…

    Jan 29, 2011 | 1:37 pm

  23. Liza says:

    Mr. Crab must have thought that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence :D

    Jan 29, 2011 | 11:06 pm

  24. bagito says:

    Ay, ‘wawa naman the crab. : (

    Jan 30, 2011 | 6:46 am

  25. meh says:

    MM, I agree with other commenters that this must be a land crab, genus Cardisoma or possibly Discoplax, I can’t tell for sure. Land crabs live in burrows surprisingly far inland. My guess as to the reason why this guy ‘committed seppuku’ is because your house and pool happen to be built over its natural habitat. Simple as that. It was wandering around at night minding its own business (land crabs tend to be nocturnal), came across your pool, thought it could navigate it easily, then (as you mention) found itself trapped by the vertical walls and drowned. Solution to prevent more crab deaths? Perhaps you could place a cover over the pool when it’s not in use, or come up with some sort of device (a netting/rope ladder??) that would allow trapped animals to climb out of the tiled pool…

    Jan 30, 2011 | 4:48 pm

  26. rita says:

    awwwh… poor thing. life’s too rough so he jumped in?

    Jan 30, 2011 | 8:45 pm

  27. wilde says:

    Maybe Mr. Crab is looking for Spongebob :)

    Damn so corny….

    Jan 31, 2011 | 12:11 pm

  28. jr peralejo says:

    we have crabs in our fishpond in bicol and i could say this is a male (or gay) sea crab because of its darker color (for sea) and not a lighter shade of brown to red (land crabs), the organ which is slightly longer (for males) compared with wider (for females), this one is in between that so i could say that this fellow might be gay.

    Jan 31, 2011 | 1:56 pm

  29. sasha says:

    that is a terrestrial crab so it don’t know how to swim

    poor crab….

    Mar 29, 2011 | 12:40 pm


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