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Hermit Crabs Carry Intricate Art Pieces On Their Backs [Pics]

Hermit Crabs Carry Intricate Art Pieces On Their Backs [Pics]

Artist Aki Inomata creates semi-translucent plastic homes for the little crustaceans that are modeled after cosmopolitan cities.

Leah Gonzalez

Japanese artist Aki Inomata created hermit crab shelters inspired by the architecture of major cities like Paris, New York, and Tokyo.

In her work Why Not Hand Over A ‘Shelter’ To Hermit Crabs, she crafted intricately-detailed hermit crab shelters made of semi-transparent plastic. She used CT scanning to create detailed 3D renderings of empty seashells that the hermit crabs abandoned to make sure that the interior of the plastic shelters is similar to what the hermit crabs look for in a shell.


Aki Inomata likens the behavior of hermit crabs to that of people who move, migrate, or acquire nationalities. The hermit crabs, although having the same body, change appearances when they transfer to a new shell or shelter. In the same way, people adapt when they relocate.

The artist has done a similar project called World Outside Your World, wherein she placed a plastic shell decorated with detailed carvings of traditional Japanese houses on the back of a turtle.

View more images of the hermit crab shelters below.


Aki Inomata

Images by Aki Inomata via DesignBoom.

PSFK Writer Leah Gonzalez
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