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   xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jun 30 12:58 AM

June 30th, 2017: Samurai Crabs

Long, long ago, 1185 to be exact, in a country far, far away, Japan to be precise, there was a battle. Two armies of Samurai,
both with powerful fleets of ships, duked it out at Dan-no-ura Bay. One army was the Heike clan, the imperial rulers of Japan,
the other was the Minamoto, who were fighting for control of the throne. During the battle hundreds of Samurai warriors
bought the farm, or in this case the sea. The Minamoto army won, and Minamoto Yoritomo went on to become the first Shogun,
or military ruler, which controlled Japan for the next 700 years.

The Battle of Dan-no-ura gave rise to many legends, the strangest of which involves a crab. This crab has a distinctive shell with a pattern that vaguely resembles the angry face of a Samurai. The story goes that when the Heike warriors died and sank, their souls were transferred to the crabs and their gnarled faces were forever etched onto the crab's back. The crab is called Heikegani or the Heike crab. Sometimes, it’s also called the Samurai crab.

Carl Sagan once speculated that the resemblance was due to artificial selection. Sagan proposed that the fishermen fishing Japan’s waters would throw back any crabs whose shells looked like a samurai’s face out of respect for the fallen Heike tribe. This preserved the DNA of the heikegani with samurai-like faces while thinning the genetic lines of those without. However, the Heike crabs are tiny—about four centimeters— and nobody actually ate them, and so the fishermen used to throw them from the nets. Besides, crabs with human-like shells have been found all throughout the world.
The folds and creases that resembles a snarling samurai face are actually the points where muscles attach to the carapace. They just happen to look like the face of an angry Samurai, thanks to our innate ability to find faces in random objects—a phenomena called pareidolia.

Oh yeah, well take that Sagan, that's a face.


lumberjim  Friday Jun 30 01:14 AM

Excellent work sir. This is IoTD done right.

Cool picture, got me thinking, and edible. Checked all the boxes.

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jun 30 07:43 AM

It's the googly eyes, they have the power to seduce normally rational people... like monster.

Gravdigr  Friday Jun 30 11:10 AM

Originally Posted by lumberjim View Post
Excellent work sir. This is IoTD done right.

Cool picture, got me thinking, and edible. Checked all the boxes.
Well it is Friday.

Your reply here?

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