Debunked: Crabzilla [Giant Crab Photoshopped into Bing Maps image]

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Update: Debunked. It's a photoshop of a crab onto an image from Bing Maps.

(Bing maps image found by @Trailblazer)


Fresh from the British press:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-measuring-50ft-lurking-waters-whitstable.htm

Crabzilla! Photo appears to show giant CRAB measuring at least 50ft across lurking in the waters off Whitstable




The seaside town might be famed for its oysters, but this incredible image could soon have visitors flocking to Whistable in the hope of catching Britain's biggest crab.

The photograph, which has been shared online, appears to show a crustacean that is at least 50ft-wide lurking in shallow water.

While some insist it is proof of 'Crabzilla', others argue that the shadowy figure is nothing more than an unusually-shaped sandbank - or is simply a playful hoax.

The image shows the outline of a crab in the mouth of the Kent harbour - dwarfing the fishing boats resting on the nearby pier.

It is shaped like an edible crab, a species that is commonly found in British water and grows to an average of five inches.

The photograph was posted on a website called Weird Whitstable - an online collection of strange and unusual sightings in the town.
Content from External Source
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
The photograph is an altered version of the Bing Maps aerial view.

Bing Maps link: http://binged.it/1sMorR1

GIF comparison:

output_gyXVEt.gif

All the boats and vehicles are in the same place. The photos are clearly identical, apart from the giant crustacean (and perhaps a bit of blurring at the top left).
 
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Hevach

Senior Member.
Trailblazer already debunked it, but looking at the source for the altered image it should have been pretty obvious. Everything else on the site is either a bad photoshop or a wildly misleading caption on a mundane picture, like the 'winged monkey handprint" and "helicopter fossils" in roadways around town, or the gob of extruded lubricant being called a "mysterious creature."

Being a better hoax in a batch of bad ones doesn't make it more believable.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Trailblazer already debunked it, but looking at the source for the altered image it should have been pretty obvious. Everything else on the site is either a bad photoshop or a wildly misleading caption on a mundane picture, like the 'winged monkey handprint" and "helicopter fossils" in roadways around town, or the gob of extruded lubricant being called a "mysterious creature."

Being a better hoax in a batch of bad ones doesn't make it more believable.
The Weird Whitstable website is the work of an illustrator called Quinton Winter.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The Weird Whitstable website is the work of an illustrator called Quinton Winter.

Yeah, and the "giant crab" bit was from 2013. For some reason it just ended up in the Sunday Express, and the other "Weird News" sites lapped it up.


A problem with any "giant" animal is that there are physical limits as to how large a particularly shaped animal can be. Simple issues of energy intake and expenditure limit things in the wild (what is that crab going to eat?), but beyond that there's a hard limit on actually being able to move. Animals with exoskeletons (crustaceans, insects) are especially limited.

It's the square-cube law again. Unfortunately not something of interest to tabloid readers.

 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
While Cancer pagurus mainly eat crustaceans they have been known to eat cephalopods like cuttlefish or squid. A specimen that size would certainly explain the lack of Kraken sightings off the Kentish coast in recent times.
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Yeah, and the "giant crab" bit was from 2013. For some reason it just ended up in the Sunday Express, and the other "Weird News" sites lapped it up.

There is nothing at the Weird Whitstable website dated this year. Perhaps the owner has not updated the copyright notice?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
There is nothing at the Weird Whitstable website dated this year. Perhaps the owner has not updated the copyright notice?

This 2013 post describes the large crab photo as being "earlier in the year"
http://weirdwhitstable.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/giant-crab.html


An aerial photo of a much larger giant crab was shown in the Weird Whitstable exhibition earlier in the year. This is the first close up we have of one of these colossal crustaceans.

Content from External Source
 

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
A problem with any "giant" animal is that there are physical limits as to how large a particularly shaped animal can be. Simple issues of energy intake and expenditure limit things in the wild (what is that crab going to eat?), but beyond that there's a hard limit on actually being able to move. Animals with exoskeletons (crustaceans, insects) are especially limited.

I remember Neil Degrasse mentioning something along those lines in Cosmos. Insects "breath" through their exoskeletons. During the Paleozoic, relatively higher atmospheric Oxygen concentrations allowed for larger insects. Our current atmosphere simply cant sustain the physiology of a massive insect.

Not sure how this applies to crabs since they have gills. I did come across a quote from a marine biologist who said a crab this size was not possible, but the article don't elaborate on her reasons why.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I remember Neil Degrasse mentioning something along those lines in Cosmos. Insects "breath" through their exoskeletons. During the Paleozoic, relatively higher atmospheric Oxygen concentrations allowed for larger insects. Our current atmosphere simply cant sustain the physiology of a massive insect.

Not sure how this applies to crabs since they have gills. I did come across a quote from a marine biologist who said a crab this size was not possible, but the article don't elaborate on her reasons why.

There's two limiting factors. Intake of nutrients, and strength of the skeleton.

A normal crab of that size maxes out at about 12" wide shell. This has one 50' wide, so 50x larger.

It would weigh 50^3 as much (125000x), but if scaled exactly the skeleton would only by 50^2 as strong.

So to maintain the exoskeleton strength, everything would have to be an additional 50x thicker.
 
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