Highly unusual crab caught by mayor on the Chesapeake Bay
A blue crab wearing some rather unusual headgear was pulled from the Chesapeake Bay by the mayor of Tangier Island, Virginia, on May 30.
The 2-year-old female crab, who was pulled from a crab pot that belonged to mayor James "Ooker" Eskridge, had two oysters growing on either side of her head close to her eyes.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation shared photos of the strange crab on Twitter, referencing the creature as "a Chesapeake Bay Turducken."
If you're not familiar with the over-the-top dish, it's a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, further stuffed into a deboned turkey.
Unfortunately, the foundation says the discovery of this creature is emblematic of a much larger issue.
"Baby oysters, called spat, need a hard surface to attach onto and grow. The ideal surface are old oyster shells and oyster reefs," it wrote on its blog. "However, after decades of pollution, disease, and overharvesting, the Bay's native oyster population is a small fraction of its previous size."
This means that the 6-month-old pair of oysters growing near the crab's eyes likely had to attach to her because pollution and overharvesting have destroyed their natural breeding ground.
Tom Zolper, a spokesman for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, told the Washington Post that as interesting of a spectacle as the crab may be, she probably isn't too thrilled with her vision-obstructing bivalve pals, and has likely tried to get them off to no avail.
"Whatever she's tried, she's tried," he said. "They're there and they're attached. That has to be a disability."