This week, one of the internet’s most bizarre conspiracy theories reared its head again. It involves Amelia Earhart — the famous pilot whose demise is the subject of great academic debate — and some giant, bloodthirsty coconut crabs. The funny thing is, that sentence is somehow the the least-weird part of this wild idea. Strap in, folks.

On Monday, Inverse reported on a newly released video of a coconut crab savagely attacking a red-footed booby bird. Since the gruesome video has now gone viral, some conspiracists have taken the opportunity to revive a strange idea about the giant crabs, which, to be fair, are pretty terrifying. They posit Earhart did not drown in the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937, but that she instead crashed on Nikumaroro atoll, Kiribati, where her corpse was ripped apart by coconut crabs.

A coconut crab.

Despite the fact that coconut crabs are the largest terrestrial invertebrates in the world, can grow up to three feat in length, and have been known to feast on kittens and other animals they have no business eating, it’s highly unlikely that this scenario has any merit at all.

Sure, coconut crabs might look like nightmare skeleton dogs, but that doesn’t mean they feasted on the flesh of a lost pilot. Some historians have suggested that Earhart died in a crash into the Pacific, or that she died as a castaway after the disaster.

All that said, a cursory look on Reddit shows the coconut crab conspiracy is alive and well:

Screen shot from Reddit

We may never know for certain what happened to Earhart on that tragic day in 1937. But we do know that coconut crabs (almost) definitely had nothing to do with her disappearance.


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