The pink porcupine crab is a highly unusual species of king crab with crazy exaggerated spines on its head and body. What is fascinating about this decapod’s appearance is how incredibly long the spines are relative to its body, covering the entire surface and even branching from the very front of its head. The way the spines are distributed and how they branch from all parts of the body makes us think that the overall genetic programming responsible for it has some out of control fractals.
This beautiful animal was recently photographed and collected on a deep diving submersible mission by Nautilus Live in the Anageda Passage in the Caribbean Sea. While it may be located in a tropical region of the world, the crab was collected at abyssal depths where the pressure is incredibly high and the temperature unbelievably cold.
While this little guy featured above may look cute and unreal, we suspect it is the juvenile form of a species like Neolithodes grimaldii and should grow into some of those over-proportioned spines it’s developed from its carapace. The specimen pictured here when brought up to the sea surface was about the size of a human hand while full grown related king crabs can grow to much larger and seafood-worthy sizes.
These pictures of the adorably small pink porcupine crab are truly fascinating but you can also watch a brief clip of the pink porcupine crab in its natural deep sea environment at Nautilus Live.