Sat, Oct 24, 2015 - Page 10 News List

The humongous crab

A man holds the humongous male crab on Oct. 7 in Chiayi.

Photo: Wu Shih-tsung, Taipei Times

Hsiao Jung-hsin, warden of Jhangtan Village at Chiayi County’s Dongshih Township, captured a humongous wild male crab, which weighed in at nearly 3kg, on Oct. 6. Its body could almost fill an entire washbasin. When its claws were folded across the chest, they were wider than a beer bottle 29cm tall. Its legs were as thick as a grown man’s forearms. When the claws were fully extended, they were nearly 60cm fronm claw to claw. “I have never seen anything like this in four decades!” Hsiao exclaimed. He could not bear to eat it and planned to keep it as a pet.

Hsiao said that when he was eight or nine years old he saw grown-ups catch a huge male crab that weighed 3.6kg, and that he had never seen anything this big in the more than 40 years since then. On the afternoon of Oct. 6 when he was out fishing in the waters outside Dongshih, he could feel the weight of his catch in the fishing net. He pulled it up and, to his surprise, he saw an enormous male crab. After taking it home and weighing it, he found that it weighed nearly 3kg.

“It is indeed a huge beast!” said Yang Kuo-pin, whose family has farmed crabs for three generations. An average male crab can grow by 0.6kg in one year; if they mate more than three times, they will suffer from complete exhaustion and die. If a male crab grows to 3kg in weight, it probably has been living in the cavitys between tetrapods or in a deep oceanic trench, does not have much opportunity for mating and has escaped being caught, and therefore survived. For a male crab to mate with a female without a hitch, their physical proportions must match to a certain degree. A male crab that weighs nearly 3kg can have a hard time finding a virgin crab that weighs 1.8kg for mating.


1. humongous adj.

巨無霸;無比壯碩 (ju4 wu2 ba4; wu2 bi3 zhuang4 shuo4)

例: She suddenly realized her affection for that humongous wrestler.


2. forearm n.

前臂 (qian2 bi4)

例: What should I do to get strong forearms like yours?


3. proportion n.

比例 (bi3 li4)

例: When you love someone, everything about him or her is in perfect proportion.


The huge male crab that Hsiao caught had a carapace that exceeded 20cm in width and was incredibly active. He dared not move the crab around with excessive force for fear of breaking its claws. Hsiao planned to raise it to see how big it can ultimately be.

(Liberty Times, translated by Ethan Zhan)






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