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Eerie Theory: Was Famed Aviation Pioneer Amelia Earhart Eaten by Giant Cat-Sized Coconut Crabs?

Cat-Sized Crabs are Suspected to Have Eaten Amelia Earhart
Source: MEGA

Amelia Earhart was a pioneer in more than one sense.

Jun. 12 2024, Published 1:03 p.m. ET

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Coconut crabs of the tropics are large, cat-sized crustaceans known for their indiscriminate eating habits, and they are now suspected to be linked to the disappearance of American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.

According to, this theory arises from the lack of physical evidence found at the site where Earhart is believed to have spent her final moments.

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Born in 1897, Earhart was known for defying societal norms and was considered a trailblazer of her time. From a young age, she collected newspaper clippings of women who had achieved daring feats, fueling her own ambitions.

Earhart's passion for aviation was ignited after attending a flying show in early adulthood. She began training in 1921, pursuing a hobby considered dangerous at the time.

In 1928, she broke new ground by becoming the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean as an aircraft passenger. Four years later, she set another record by being the second person to fly the same route solo.

In 1935, Earhart further pushed boundaries by flying solo across the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first person to do so. Two years later, in 1937, she embarked on what would have been her crowning achievement: a 29,000-mile journey around the globe with navigator Fred Noonan.

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The duo had successfully completed two-thirds of their expedition and landed in New Guinea to refuel. Their next destination was the small, uninhabited Howland Island. However, after taking off, they were never heard from again.

Despite extensive searches, no trace of Earhart, Noonan or their Lockheed Electra aircraft was found, leading to the declaration they were lost at sea.

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Speculation by the Natural History Museum suggests that giant coconut crabs might be the reason behind the lack of evidence regarding Earhart's fate. These crabs have powerful, vice-like pincers capable of breaking open coconuts, hence their name.

"People may be familiar with crab pincers if they try and pick the animals up from the front and not the back. Coconut crabs' pincers have a serrated edge, which are commonly known as teeth because they do act as teeth on the front claws," explains Miranda Lowe, the museum’s Principal Curator of Crustacea. "They’re used to crack open coconuts. This strength is not limited to their pincers"

Coconut crabs are known to carry objects more than six times their weight. According to Atlas Obscura, these crabs can "drag around objects weighing more than 60 pounds…a feat few other species can pull off."


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