Thoughtful Man Provides New Shells to Hermit Crabs That Were Using Plastic Trash As Their Homes

Shawn Miller of Make The Switch 4 Nature has made it his life’s mission to provide empty shells for the hermit crabs on the beaches of Okinawa, Japan to use rather than plastic caps and other garbage. He explains that when people take shells from the beach, they are unknowingly. robbing these crabs of their potential homes.

Most people don’t realize that they are taking a potential home of a hermit crab. If you are a shell collector please be respectful and return all unwanted shells back to the shoreline. It’s crucial to protect these small creatures for future generations. He

To address this shortage, Miller started leaving a wide array of shells on the beach for the resident hermit crabs. When the crab switches out plastic for an actual shell, Miller takes the trash home and gives it a number.

These beautiful hermit crabs are not born with shells so to protect their bodies. They actually have to go looking for them. They don’t like living in plastic but there’s not many shell options on the beach anymore. So I decided to start the crab conservation project called Make the Switch 4 Nature. And when I do find a hermit crab first, thing I do is I offer a variety of shells. …once the hermit crab moves on I keep the discarded plastic for my collection and I currently have 151 caps collected.

Hermit crab adapting with a pet bottle - Onna okinawa Blueberry hermit crab with cassette gas cap, Okinawa-Japan

Crabs with beach trash homes - Onna village, Okinawa
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.