Educating the world about Texas one Yankee at at time.

Educating the world about Texas one Yankee at a time.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The giant crabs of Port Aransas come out at night, look for fishermen

The men went to Port Aransas every year for about a week for sea fishing and camping on the beach. When fishermen came off the fishing party boats, their catches were cleaned right there on the pier for them. The remains of the fish, from perch to shark, were dumped right off the pier there in Port Aransas, as they are today. After all, chum is biodegradable, right? It all goes right back into the marine-life food chain.

The men thought nothing of it.

Later that evening, they sat around a beach campfire outside of the rented RV on the beach. One went off to fish off the pier at midnight, something that was illegal, but everyone did it.

He wasn’t gone long.

The outlaw fisherman returned, empty handed, his eyes wide as saucers and practically unable to speak. “Crabs,” was all he said.

When he was able to catch his breath, the man told of crabs that came out of the water at the sound of his footsteps on the pier. They crawled up on the beach below and turned their stalked eyes upward…at him. “They were the size of dogs,” he said. “Not small dogs, either. They were as big as a cow dog. One was four feet in diameter at least. That one was the biggest.”

The best I can figure is that these were blue crabs. Blue crabs are what are most common in the Gulf of Mexico and they will eat anything, including carrion.

That’s dead flesh.

The fishing party deduced that the giant crabs had grown so large by eating the remains of fishing catches that had been dumped over the side of the pier.

“These crabs,” said the one who had seen them, “They were huge. And the way they looked at me…”

Now at this point I need to tell you that these men were former Soldiers. United States Army Soldiers. These are not men who would be frightened by tiny crustaceans. For a crab to strike fear in the heart of a Soldier…well that’s a pretty big crab. And an assertive one.

The teller of the crab tale, whose name has been withheld to protect his identity, said his friend reported that the crabs not only looked at him, they came toward him.

“He said they moved together, like tanks, slowly at first…then a little faster,” he told me. “He didn’t stick around to see what was going to happen.”

These were crabs with a plan of attack.

As I stated earlier, these crabs were shark-fed. If it’s true that we are what we eat, then picture a crab the size of a Volkswagen beefed up on shark flesh.

Until recently, I had never heard about the giant crabs of Port Aransas. The most I thought we had to fear from the ocean were sharks and Portugese Man o’War jellyfish. That, right there, is what keeps me from swimming in the ocean.

But now I know about the crabs; BIG crabs. And if you believe in Darwin’s theory on the origin of species, you also probably know that animal brains thrive and grow on a rich and varied diet. So if we’re to believe the tales of shark-fed giant crabs, then we should be prepared for super-intelligent crustaceans. Smart crabs, crabs that are aware of you and your potential as a meal; crabs that are fearless and able to open a door with their oversized claws; crabs that know to come to the beach at the sound of human footsteps on a wooden pier.

Crabs from Texas.

That alone should scare you, because everything is bigger in Texas anyway. But Texas crabs that are larger than even Texas crabs should be?

Be afraid.

Be VERY afraid.

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