When you think of crabs, lobsters, and other underwater crustaceans you probably don’t picture them with luscious locks flowing in the wind (or currents, as the case my be). Well, I’m here to change your perception of crustaceans forever with these 6 hairy, fuzzy, and all around perfectly tussled creatures.

Hairy Yellow Hermit Crab

Aniculus maximus, crustaceans

photo: Flickr user martymop

Aniculus maximus, crustaceans

photo: Flickr user rtodd2684

Aniculus maximus, crustaceans

photo: Flickr user cat64fish

Habitat: Indo-Pacific Oceans
Status: No Conservation Concerns

My childhood was fondly composed of long days at the beach where I would collect hermit crabs, plop them into custom-built sandcastle habitats, and watch them scoot around excitedly. Never did I come across one like this, though!

This extremely hirsute hermie is known as the Hairy Yellow Hermit Crab (Aniculus maximus), which is characterized by its strong yellow legs covered in thick white hair. They’re omnivorous, eating both algae and fish. Gotta have a varied diet to keep your hairy arms looking luscious, after all.

Hairy Crab

Habitat: Indo-Pacific Oceans
Status: Not Evaluated

This hairy little beast is called (as it very well should be) a Hairy Crab (Pilumnus vespertilio). And this thing doesn’t look like it just stepped out of the hair dressers in Beverly Hills. Oh no, more like it had been stranded on a desert island without a good pair of clippers for a decade. Personally, I think it kind of looks like Chewbacca in crab form. But that’s just me.

Some people refer to them as the “teddy bear” of crabs since they do look so cute and fluffy when they fluff up in the water. So what exactly do those hairs come in handy for? I mean, other than making it look perfectly fabulous in the billowing currents, the hairs trap sediments allowing the crab to blend perfectly with its surroundings. When ‘fluffed’ in the water, this also helps to break up the crab’s actual outline so that predators can’t really tell where the seaweed-like hair starts and the crab begins. They reach anywhere between 3-5cm in length.

Violet-spotted Reef Lobster

Enoplometopus debelius, crustaceans

photo: aquariumdomain.com

Enoplometopus debelius, crustaceans

photo: 92pixels.com

Habitat: Indonesia, New Caledonia, Hawaii and possibly Japan
Status: Data Deficient

I’ve dubbed this overly hairy lobster the “Barbie Lobster” for its bright pink hue. It’s actually called Violet-spotted Reef Lobster (Enoplometopus debelius) but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The lobster is decked out in its finest hot pink outfit for a night on the town. Just looks like Barbie Lobster forgot to shave its arms and legs for the night out. Oh, well. Work it, lobsta lady.

Chinese Mitten Crab

photo: lancashireinvasives.org

photo: nhm.ac.uk

Habitat: native in the coastal estuaries of eastern Asia from Korea in the north to the Fujian province of China in the south. It has also been introduced to Europe and North America where it is considered an invasive species
Status: No Conservation Concerns
At about the size of a human palm, the Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis) gets its name from the dense patches of dark hair on its claws that make it look like it’s wearing mittens!
These weird crabs aren’t prized for their stylish appearance, though. They’re actually considered a delicacy in Shanghai cuisine – the female roe in particular is highly coveted. Recently, China introduced vending machines to sell this species of crab in the subways.The crabs are stored at 5 °C (41 °F), which induces a sleepy state of hibernation. The prices of the crabs range from around $1.50 to $7.00 (USD). They are guaranteed to be fresh and alive. Poor mitten crabs :(

 Yeti Crab

Yeti+Crab1, crustaceans

photo: Ifremer/A. Fifis

yeti crab, crustaceans

photo via: factzoo.com

This fuzzy little Yeti Crab (Kiwa hirsuta) was discovered back in 2005 during a research expedition lead by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute using the submarine DSV Alvin. The hairy critter was discovered hanging out around hydrothermal vents around 7,200 ft deep near Easter Island.

Then in 2011, a less hairy second species in the family was discovered in the deep ocean off Costa Rica which was named Kiwa puravida after a common Costa Rican saying that means ‘pure life’. And how exactly does this crab lead an easy-going life you ask? Well, it leads a simple life of farming – farming the bacteria that grows on its hairy arms, that is. Yes, scientists documented that this strange creature actually cultivates tiny gardens of bacteria on its claws and then eats them. It even “waters” its gardens by waving its arms back and forth so as to provide the bacteria with fresh supplies of oxygen and sulphide to help them grow. Now that’s the real definition of arm candy!

Pink Hairy Squat Lobster

pink hairy squat lobster, crustaceans

photo: Enje

pink hairy squat lobster, crustaceans

photo: uwphotographyguide.com

Habitat: Indonesian waters
Not listed

These incredibly beautiful little creatures are Pink Hairy Squat Lobsters (Lauriea siagiani). They live on Giant Barrel Sponges and don’t usually like to get their photo taken. They’re a little bit shy :) That might have something to do with the fact that they only grow to a length of 1/2 inch. I’d be a little cautious about coming out if I was the size of a fingernail, too.

These squat lobsters are remarkably colored, with their intense pink body, purple spots, and bright yellow hairs that protrude in all directions.