The Ryukyu Islands are a string of islands that stretch from Japan almost to Taiwan.
Poisonous snakes abound on these islands. There is another fearsome creature in the Ryukyus, a giant crab.
The giant spider crab lives in the waters off the coast of the Ryukyus. This crab is the largest crustacean on earth. It has a body more than l foot wide, and it stands 3 feet tall. With its legs outstretched, it can measure more than 12 feet across! Many of these giants weigh more than 35 pounds.
The giant crab lives in the ocean during the day but sometimes climbs ashore in the evening. These crabs are so large, and their claws are so deadly, that fishermen must use nets to catch them!