Skip to main content

Man camping in Japan wakes to find giant crab stealing his knife

Adult coconut crab on a tree
(Image credit: Getty)

A camper spending the night in Okinawa, Japan, woke to find a giant coconut crab making off with his knife in the middle of the night. The man reports that he heard a scratching sound outside his tent, and upon investigating, found the creature carrying his tool away from the campsite.

The man uploaded a video of the encounter to Tiktok. The crab can be seen slowly carrying his best camping knife away before the camper gently removes it.

@kylesthenix (opens in new tab)

♬ Run - AWOLNATION (opens in new tab)

The coconut crab (which, as Newsweek (opens in new tab) notes, is also known as the robber crab) can grow to have a leg span of over a meter, and is a relative of the hermit crab, which uses empty shells and other objects for protection. This is a trait both species share as juveniles, but as adults, coconut crabs develop their own tough exoskeletons and move from the ocean to the land.

As the Natural History Museum (opens in new tab) explains, the crabs take their name from their preferred diet of green coconuts, which they crack with their strong claws (no need for knives). However, they are omnivores, and will also take rats, other crabs, and even birds.

'It's an adaptation because of their food source," said Miranda Lowe, principal curator of crustacea at the museum. "On land, some of the time they have to find something else other than coconuts."

The crabs rarely attack humans, and like most animals, prefer to keep their distance from people. They can display aggressive behavior when threatened, so if you encounter one it's best to stay back and appreciate it from a distance.

Cat Ellis
Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).