Meet the Hasselhoff Crab [Video]
A new species of crab discovered by British scientists has been christened the “The Hasselhoff Crab” or “The Hoff,” on account of its hairy chest. The frequently bare-chested actor was sadly unavailable for comment.
The Hoff crab was discovered last week living around volcanic vents off South Georgia. The crabs, which have yet to be formally classified, were filmed by a remote deep sea camera as they congregated in their thousands, 2,500 meters below the ocean surface. Professor Alex Rogers who led the research cruise told the BBC:
“Their nickname on the cruise ship was the ‘Hasselhoff crab’, which gives you some idea of what they look like.”
Alas, the crabs will eventually be given a scientific name. They’re a type of yeti crab with hairs, or setae, along their claws and limbs. These hairs are used to cultivate bacteria, which the crabs then eat. We’re not sure the Hoff does the same (he has his own extreme dietary habits). Prof Rogers added:
“The crab occurs in staggering densities. It is just incredible to see these animals literally lying in heaps around the diffuse flow of these vents. In places, they reached as many as 600 individuals per square metre.”
As we reported the other day, the deep sea study has turned up new types of starfish, barnacles, sea anemones, and even a ‘ghost octopus.’
Here’s footage of the Hoff crabs mingling around some deep sea vents, as shot by the deep-diving robotic submersible used on the study: