Tuesday, May 17, 2005   1:26 AM

Japanese Giant Building-Eating Crab

It's little known in the outside world, but many Japanese cities are suffering from a plague of giant building-eating crabs which have come out of the sea looking for tasty morsels of architecture. It is thought they are Japanese Giant Spider Crabs (for the sticklers amongst you: macrocheira kaempferi) which have mutated due to radioactive leaks from the nuclear power stations located along the Sea of Japan coast. As the crabs are all but impervious to any attempts at restraining them, apart from concentrated artillery fire, many regions have opted to sacrifice one or two less-important structures to placate the giant crustaceans.

Here in Gifu a new approach is being tried, viz. appealing to the crabs' egos. First bait in the form of a fresh building is offered by labelling it "crab food" (かに料理), and once the crab attacks the building it is given the honary title of "Crab Shogun" (かに将軍). This makes the crab believe it is now ruler of the city, and if regular offerings of freshly sacrificed virgin bricks, ferro-concrete panels etc. are made, it can generally be persuaded to refrain from destroying the rest of the city.

Japanese Giant Building-Eating Crab
Japanese Giant Building-Eating Crab in Gifu


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