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The Lost Hermit Crab - A True Story

Updated on November 22, 2015

Hermit Crab Crawling

Sadly, I don't have any pictures of Samson that I can find currently, but these photos of hermit crabs look a lot like him!  He was a big hermit crab.
Sadly, I don't have any pictures of Samson that I can find currently, but these photos of hermit crabs look a lot like him! He was a big hermit crab. | Source

Hermit Crabs


Samson's Story

When I was a young girl, I was introduced to hermit crabs as pets. I thought this was a great idea! I had a large glass bowl, with a flat bottom to it, filled with everything a hermit crab could ever hope to want. Over the next few years, I really enjoyed having them as pets and learning more about them.

One summers day, when a friend and I were bored, we decided to have some fun with my little hermit crabs. We took both of my hermit crabs that I had at the time, Rebekkah and Samson, out to the backyard on the patio, and created a fun "playground" for them. We made a kind of obstacle course for them, but more of a playground with different "options" for them to do. We were trying to think of ways to help them have some fun! This of course was as much or more fun for us than them, but hopefully they enjoyed it as well. We got to get real creative using things from the house and kitchen to create our fun little wonderland for Rebekkah and Samson!

One thing to keep in mind is that my friend and I were young and didn't consider this might not have been the safest thing, up on a big wooden table in backyard. Still, we made a place for them to swing, on a little hermit crab swing set, for example. We used sticks they could climb as if they were out on a bigger area where land crabs can crawl around and do what they do. It was cute watching them as they crawled around.

We created a teeter totter for the crabs, a slide, and all kinds of neat little paths going to and fro all around. It was a fun time. So before it was all over, there was quite a fun little play land we had created for them.

Well, as time wore on, and I was called in for whatever reason, and I eventually got distracted enough to leave them for "just a few minute." Of course however, the next thing I knew, I was running back to the backyard to get my crabs and bring them back in. To my hearts dismay, I couldn't find my biggest hermit crab I ever had, Samson! I was shocked and scared and feeling very worried after a while.

I spent the next long while looking and looking for him after taking Rebekkah back in to her regular home where it was safer. The longer I looked, the more crushed I felt, as I knew he was truly lost. You can't look all night long, in the dark, and eventually my mom made me come inside. I had lost Samson, and he was far from any beach or normal habitat that he would have come from. They are tree crabs, and normally live near a coastline. While in Southern California, I was several miles from the coastline, I was worried, and thought he was gone for good. Days of searching later, after school and on weekend, turned up no results.

Samson, was truly lost.

My mind could only think for so long about who would feed him. My heart had doubts about what I had done and how it turned out to create a tough situation for he and I both. I looked off and on for days but its an awful feeling when you just keep on not finding such a small pet in a backyard setting.

Days turned to weeks, to months. Summer had ended, fall had come and gone, winter had passed there in California. I felt so bad to have lost my pet by my own poor choices.

Easter came as it always does. It was Spring time. In the backyard, having fun and looking for eggs, we were having a good time. I was quite the little outdoors girl, and went back out to spend some time. I no longer looked for my hermit crab, as I was sure he was gone or dead. Some cat or bigger animal got him, or he went into the neighbors backyard or further, or into the street, etc. That was what I had thought long ago. On this day, poor Samson was far from my thoughts and Easter and the fun it entailed, as well as the special meaning it holds for my family was on my mind.

Well, you can imagine my hearts utter joy and surprise to look down and find a shell in my grass, and one that looked familiar to me! It was Samson! On Easter morning I had found my long lost pet Samson! I gently bent down, too scared to look in the shell after all these months and knowing I had not been feeding him! I wish I could have seen the expression on my truly surprised face as even know its such a happy and joyful memory!

Samson was tucked away inside, and I was reminded that these tough guys are truly scavengers and it is in their blood to know how to survive. To me, it was an Easter Miracle and always will be, the best Easter surprise ever! I was so thankful to God that he let me find him and such a special day. My heart still smiles now.

Hermit Crab Poll

Have you ever owned your own hermit crab or crabs?

See results

Where Samson was Lost Years Ago

Costa Mesa California:
Costa Mesa, CA, USA

get directions


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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Kitkat, thank you so much for sharing this very fun and funny story! I absolutely loved the tale about the neat "shells" you found, that turned out to be hermit crabs! See, they very much are survivors. They play possum to keep people unawares, then when all is quiet make a get away! My apologies for not seeing this comment till now, but so glad I did. What a fun memory for you and your family. Thanks again for sharing.

    • kitkat1141 profile image


      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have a funny story about hermit crabs too. When my kids were 2 and 4 we went to Kiawah Island in South Carolina for vacation. While the men golfed, the kids and I went to the beach. We were surprised how few shells were there, but walking along, managed to pick up 4 large shells and brought them home. We set them outside on a table to dry out. The next morning 2 had fallen off the table. It rained lightly, so we thought maybe the wind picked up. We replaced them on the table and went out for the day. When we returned, all 4 shells were on the ground. We looked inside them, but couldn't see anything. I put them back on the table, but watched them for a while. Low and behold, a hermit crab popped out, and was making his getaway! We took the 4 shells back to the beach that afternoon, and set them in the sand. They must have felt at home, as all 4 came out and made a run for it! We drew a crowd as we watched them. My 2 year old thought they were called Kermit crabs, after Kermit the frog!!

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Moonlake, it was a really neat and exciting thing for me for sure. I felt so lucky to have found him. I recall my mother saying, "he must have found what he needed!" So it is like you say, he found what he needed, evidently. Enough water and food to hold on. I felt so bad about it, when it happened, and was so happy that Easter to have reunited with him again.

      Thanks for your comment and vote. Have a great day.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Peggy, thanks for reading and stopping by. I think Samson must have been an extra tough hermit crab, but perhaps it could happen more often than I think. I just don't know for sure. I do know he went through a lot and lived through it. It was like a miracle to me! Thanks for your comment and votes and sharing. Have a great day!

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      Great story. Our kids had hermit crabs. It's so nice he survived all that time. He must have found what he needed to eat in your yard.

      Voted uP!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hermit crabs must be tough little guys! I had no idea that they could live by scavenging so far from a beach area. It was nice to have found him on Easter. Up and interesting votes. Will share.


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