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11 Amazing Photos of Decorator Crabs Being Crafty Critters of the Sea

These crabs are fashionistas.

Decorator crabs are the craftiest critters in the sea.

These resourceful crustaceans will hook seaweed, anemones and other sea objects to their shells to hide from predators.

Their shells have little velcro-like hairs that make attaching items a breeze, and they can interchange objects depending on the area they're hiding in. Some crabs even go the extra mile to put poisonous material on their shells as an extra deterrent against eating them.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium says these animals eventually grow big enough that they can defend without the aid of shell adornment. But the decorations certainly make for some great photos while they last.

1. Anemone Protection

decorator crab photos tumblr/oceanstuff

No one would dare go near these venomous decorations.

2. Master of Disguise

Can you believe there's a crab in there?

3. Don't underestimate a decorator crab ...

... and a pile of random shells.

4. Merry Crabmas to You

If you give a crab a pom pom, you'll get the best display of holiday spirit.

5. Barnacle Boy

Barnacles give this crab a sort of armor against attack.

6. Moving Seafloor

decorator crab photos


This crab blends in perfectly.

7. Spiky Crown

A sea urchin hat makes for a pretty good hiding spot from predators.

8. Can you see me now?

This looks more like an aquarium plant than a living crab.

9. Hiding in Plain Sight

This crab looks like it's just part of the reef.

10. Shooting for the Stars

These sea stars make for pretty decor and good camouflage.

11. Don't Go Near Me

Each decorator crab is so unique because they all have different materials at their disposal and use them in new and interesting ways.

When they molt, sometimes they'll even remove all their decorations and recycle them on the next shell, per New Scientist.

They're basically eco-friendly, professional artists.


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