A Family of Hermit Crabs Line Up By Size to Exchange Shells

BBC Earth: The Amazing Natural Home Relocation Process of the Hermit Crab – An Organized Chain Reaction

One of the most disruptive and anxiety creating activities is to move house. The tension is just so much more if there is a possibility that, as you have moved out of your old home, someone might take immediate occupation of it and before you can move in, the new property is taken in possession by another owner. This will leave you homeless. To add to the frantic state of upgrading houses, being left without one, can lead to certain, if not instant death. So much stress and that only for a bachelor’s apartment!

This is the frantic world of the mobile home industry upgrade process. But luckily for us, this is just the case if you happen to be a Hermit crab and your mobile shell house became too small for you. Upgrades are always in demand as the crabs grow. Suitable housing is scarce, so there is an immediate rush if a new vacant home appears from the retracting waves. The outcome will either be a case of first come first serve or survival of the strongest, but only if the shell fits. If it does, there is now an old, but discarded home, which might work well for another crab and a process of swapping out homes will follow.

og1 A Family of Hermit Crabs Line Up By Size to Exchange Shells

If the new property is however uninhabitable, there are quite a lot of accumulated, very unhappy potential relocators gathered on the one spot on the beach. So all, bitterly disappointed, disgusted and unsatisfied with the new housing development, take their overcrowded homes and move on. But no, that is not what happens. They start forming up in single file…

The amazing event which follows is so unbelievable, special and unique; you will have to see it for yourself (courtesy of BBC Earth).