Giant Crabs Accused of Destroying Researcher’s Cameras


Western Sydney University PhD student Annabel Dorrestein is out of a thermal camera, and she’s blaming none other than the very appropriately named Robber Crab.

crab on beach
Photo by Alexsandro Rosa de Mello from Pexels.

Dorrestein is a research student on Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. She says she has caught the crabs scurrying off with her equipment before, but this time they got away with a $USD 4,000 dollar thermal camera.

The robber crab, which ABC News AU reports is also called a coconut crab, can live for up to 80 years and is very curious. It’s also really darn big – PetaPixel reports that a robber crab can be three feet wide and weigh at least nine pounds.

Or, in the researcher’s own words to ABC News AU:

“They have been bothering me ever since I started my PhD…Dragging away cameras … I just see them and I run after them and they let go and I retrieve my equipment. But not this particular time.”

“This particular night we were recording a mango tree, so we set it up and we hooked it up to an external battery so it could run the whole night and we left it running…[In the] morning when we went to the mango tree to retrieve the thermal camera — and this has been going very well for weeks — there was no thermal camera anymore.”

“The tripod that it was mounted to was knocked over, we saw claw marks on the tripod where the thermal camera was attached to the cord that ran from the thermal camera to the battery — [it] was mangled or claw marks on the battery…So basically, a big robber crab ripped the thermal camera off the spotting scope and mangled the cables so it came loose and just dragged it into the forest.”

No word yet on the missing camera but we'll keep you updated.

What do you think of this story? Have you ever had an animal steal your camera? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section below if you like.

And please check out some of our other photography news articles on Light Stalking by clicking here.


What We Recommend to Improve Your Photography Fast

It's possible to get some pretty large improvements in your photography skills very fast be learning some fundamentals. Consider this the 80:20 rule of photography where 80% of the improvements will come from 20% of the learnable skills. Those fundamentals include camera craft, composition, understanding light and mastering post-production. Here are the premium guides we recommend.

  1. html cleaner  Easy DSLR –  Friend of Light Stalking, Ken Schultz has developed this course over several years and it still remains the single best source for mastering your camera by identifying the main things that are holding you back.
  2. Word to html  Understanding Composition – As one of the core elements of a good photograph, getting your head around composition is essential. Photzy's guide to the subject is an excellent introduction. Their follow-up on Advanced Composition is also well worth a read.
  3. Word to html  Understanding Light – Also by Photzy, the other essential part of photography is covered in this epic guide and followed up in Understanding Light, Part 2. This is fundamental stuff that every photographer should aim to master.
  4. Word to html  5 Minute Magic Lightroom Workflow – Understanding post production is one of the keys to photographs that you will be proud of. This short course by one of the best in the business will show you how an award-winning photographer does it.

About Author


Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *