Crowd Of Giant Crabs Decides To Crash Family's Picnic

"They were everywhere!"

Move over ants — there's a new type of uninvited picnic guest in town.

And they're not so easily ignored.

Amy Luetich

The other day, Amy Luetich and her family were camping on Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean.

It was there that they had the opportunity to get acquainted with one of the island's most striking species — and the world's largest land-going arthropod — coconut crabs (also known as robber crabs).

Truth is, Luetich and her family had little choice in the matter.

Amy Luetich

During the day, Luetich had spotted a handful of the giant crabs in the surrounding forest, happily minding their own business.

Later on, however, as the family prepared a picnic dinner at their campsite, the crabs had a change of heart.

Amy Luetich

"We lit our camp fire, and when we started cooking, the smell of the food attracted a whole huge number of robber crabs," Luetich told The Dodo. "We were sitting down trying to eat our dinner and they were everywhere!"

Amy Luetich

The crowd of hungry crabs moved a bit too slow to steal any of the family's dinner, but that didn't stop them from trying.

"They were tapping on our legs, climbing up onto the tables," Luetich said. "My son counted 52 of them."

Amy Luetich

Luetich and her family weren't too bothered to have their picnic crashed by giant crabs. It's their home, too, after all.

"They are protected and respected here on the island," Luetich said. "The big ones can be up to 80 years old, so we would never want to hurt one of these gentle giants."

Amy Luetich

Throughout the meal, Luetich's son tried moving the crabs safely back into the jungle, but the curious crustaceans were undeterred.

"They kept returning until we packed away all of our dinner and the smell of food went away," Luetich said, adding that this picnic will be one she and her family won't soon forget. "It was such a unique experience."