So, this week, I discovered the existence of the coconut crab (Birgus latro). I am unconvinced that such creatures should exist in a sane world. Some may call such doubts harsh, or cruel, or tied up in my general dislike of bugs. However, as a rational being, I am willing to offer evidence that my uncertainty is merited.
My research of this question led me to discover a page dedicated to these lumbering beasts of nightmare at a site called ARKive, a repository of images and video documenting the vast array of life that inhabits our planet. From their FAQ:
What is ARKive?
ARKive is the Noah’s Ark for the Internet era – a unique global initiative, gathering films, photographs and audio recordings of the world’s species together into one centralised digital library.
ARKive is leading the ‘virtual’ conservation effort – finding, sorting, cataloguing and copying the key audio-visual records of the world’s animals, plants and fungi, and building them into comprehensive multi-media digital profiles.
Using films, photographs and audio recordings, ARKive is creating a unique record of the world’s biodiversity – complementing other species information datasets and making a key resource available for scientists, conservationists, educators and the general public.
It’s an amazing resource, and one I’m glad to have found… even if the path I took there was strewn with sinister crustaceans the size of terriers.