The 13th Floor

VIDEO: Huge Spider Crab Leaves Its Group to Chase a Scuba Diver

Here’s another one for my “thanks for the nightmares, Australia” file… although the emotional reactions to this underwater encounter sort of depend on the eye of the beholder.

Expert scuba diver and marine photographer PT Hirschfield was filming a  small army of marching spider crabs in Port Phillip Bay, Australia when one of the eight-legged arthropods suddenly became aware of her and her camera… and immediately begin to pursue her with serious determination.

Image Credit: Pink Tank Scuba via YouTube

The creature’s intentions are a bit vague, as it’s hard to decipher a crustacean’s feelings from just looking at those blank, bulbous eyes.

But despite the fact the crab seems to be opening its unsettling mouth parts with what looks like hunger, Hirschfield is convinced the crab was just trying to make friends, and described the encounter as a “cuddle” and not an attack.

By the end of the clip, the crab appears to have satisfied its curiosity and returns to its marching comrades.

The diver/photographer describes spider crabs as “truly sweet and gentle souls,” and as apparent proof of this strange combination of intense creepiness and crustacean affection, she filmed another one of the creatures giving a diver a big “hug,” in its own… uh, unique way.

All animals fascinate me… but I’m gonna go with a big nope on this one.

You can see more of PT Hirschfield’s amazing undersea videos at her website, Pink Tank Scuba… but if these crabs creep you out already, you might want to steer clear of the clips and images waiting there for you.