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Crafty Crabs


Plastic is everywhere. It has been found at the bottom of the ocean. It’s at the top of Mount Everest.

Now plastic has been found in another unlikely place. Hermit crabs are using it as shells. A study about this was published in February. It was in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Hermit crabs wear seashells to protect their soft bodies from predators.


Zuzanna Jagiello was the study’s lead author. “A hermit crab in a plastic shell could be an icon of our times,” Jagiello told TIME for Kids.

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Hermit crabs have soft bodies. They wear seashells for protection. But some are wearing trash, instead.

February’s study found at least 386 crabs wearing garbage. Some wore bottle caps. Others wore broken lightbulbs or soda cans.

Recently, they’ve been seen wearing plastic, glass, or metal.


Jagiello and her team researched online. They found pictures of hermit crabs wearing trash. The photos were from all over the world.

Humans have had a big impact on the environment. Hermit crabs wearing litter are just one example.