A myth incarnate . . .

Prepare to discover the Yeti crab (Kiwa hirsuta), an enigmatic species of squat lobster unique enough to be placed into its own family and genus.  To this day, only one specimen is known to have been collected and studied.

K. hirsuta is remarkable for the clusters of long, flexible setae that give its appendages a "hairy" appearance eerily reminiscent of the Yeti, a mythological creature known more commonly to Americans as "Abominable Snowman."  It dwells in some of the harshest environmental conditions known to life—the blistering-hot, sulfurous waters of the southeast Pacific Ocean.

Adapted from Macpherson, et al. 2005.  Zoosystema 27(4), p. 714
Full-length dorsal view of a Yeti crab.  Its white, hairy appearance is readily apparent. (Courtesy Ifremer © 2005)

Within this site we discuss almost everything that is currently published about this peculiar species, including its unusual morphology, its taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships to other crustaceans, and its dietary habits.  We provide an extensive bibliography to aid curious minds  who might desire to probe this topic deeper. We even indulge a bit of whimsy and speculate about various ways we could conceivably incorporate the Yeti crab into our everyday lives.