When it comes to debunking viral videos, this has got to be the most obvious one we’ve done so far, but that knife-wielding crab just keeps popping up in our feeds, so here we are.
The stabby crab in the video below has about as much intent as this dog doing science, but the difference here is at least Science Dog looks like he’s enjoying himself. As Jack Cover from the National Aquarium in Baltimore told The Washington Post: "It's a hoax," and that crab is "absolutely distressed".
Speaking to Elahe Izadi, Cover says if you take the knife out of the equation, there’s nothing strange about what the crab is doing.
Thought to be a blue land crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) - which can grow to an impressive 11 centimetres (4.3 inches) in width and over 500 grams (18 oz) - this confrontational crustacean would wave its giant claw at anything that comes too close, and Cover suspects that the guy filming just jammed a knife in there for kicks.
Basically, what you’re seeing is a terrified crab that either is physically incapable of dropping the knife, or has clamped down on it out of instinct.
"It's a normal behaviour. If the knife wasn't there, the crab would be swinging around," said Cover. "You can put a plastic gun in that crab's claw as well and it'd look like a gun-wielding crab."
Cover adds that videos like this only highlight how separate we’ve become from nature: we see a knife-wielding crab and common-sense considerations, like a) it already has a perfectly good weapon - its claw - and b) crabs don’t know what knives are, go out the window.
Take this viral video of a clam seemingly trying to lap delicious salt off the table:
Adorable and fascinating, right? Nope. And again, it’s just cruel.
"That’s the clam’s foot, that is not its tongue," Miriam Goldstein from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography told The Huffington Post. "Clams don't have tongues, in fact, so what that clam is doing is it’s trying to find a place to burrow... clams live in mud and sand and they use their foot to help them dig."
In other words, that poor clam is just trying to get the f out of there.
"This clam is trying to dig into the table unsuccessfully," added biologist Dennis Hedgecock from the University of Southern California. "He's not eating the salt."
What sucks about videos like this going viral is not only do they see millions of people get enjoyment - unwittingly, for the most part - out of an animal's fear and distress, they give us fake interesting animal behaviours when nature is full of super-weird and amazing moments all on its own.
Take this ingenious octopus, for example, which Hawaiian photographer Joshua Lambus filmed carrying the severed tentacles of a deadly man o' war, potentially as some kind of defense mechanism, and these young gorillas, which were recently observed dismantling poacher's traps for the first time ever.
Truth is always stranger than fiction, guys. Let's give nature some credit and stop jamming kitchen knives in its claws.