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Sherman's Hermits

military crabs
  (+38, -5)(+38, -5)(+38, -5)
(+38, -5)
  [vote for,

Hermit crabs will invade and occupy any suitable mollusc's shell.

Sherman's Hermits are what you get if you leave a large number of empty miniature Sherman Tank shaped shells on the sea floor in an area favoured by these intrepid crabs.

The exterior appearance of the Shermans would be modelled to resemble that of the famous second world war tank, whilst the interior would be inviting to the particular requirements of the diminutive crab.

Once occupied, the crabs would go about their natural business, scurrying around the ocean floor disguised as a squadron of miniature tanks.

xenzag, Aug 27 2008

Hermit Crab http://hermitcrabwe...ab%20pictures/2.gif
[xenzag, Aug 27 2008]

Sherman Tank http://upload.wikim...herman_Tank_WW2.jpg
ready for the hermit to move in [xenzag, Aug 27 2008]

Crusty, Mr. Limpet's sidekick http://animated-vie...006/12/limpet03.jpg
I am still searching for an image of Crusty in his battle armor [normzone, Aug 27 2008]

Hermit Crab Shell Fighting http://www.scienced...df1a22b25c630a0ff21
Natural Business of Pagurus [csea, Aug 27 2008]

"Professional Hermit Crab Trainer" actually gets 2 hits on Google http://answers.yaho...070116190245AADaZ99
Question: I am getting a hermit crab what should i do if it pinches me and won't let go ? Answer (1 of many) "Be authorative in your tone, yet gentle. You want him to know he did wrong but don't hurt his self esteem" [normzone, Aug 29 2008]

(?) Camouflage Shells http://www.petdisco...e-Shells-p3688.html
[Amos Kito, Sep 01 2008]

Plastic Shells for Hermit Crabs http://www.cabinetm...sues/13/demaray.php
[Amos Kito, Sep 01 2008]


       //fellow mollusc's shell//
Hermit crabs are not molluscs.
coprocephalous, Aug 27 2008

       Wonderful [+]   

       Even better if you bred giant hermit crabs and left real Sherman tanks on the sea bed .....
8th of 7, Aug 27 2008

       edit - [cp] you are quite right about crabs not being molluscs.
xenzag, Aug 27 2008

       I love it. I see these little guys all the time in the local tide pools.   

       I'll buy them if you'll make them. They should be ceramic, though, so they'll eventually break down similar to a real shell. Will they be available in other amusing formats?
normzone, Aug 27 2008

       What about renting out actual Sherman tanks to actual hermits? Or giving them to them for free?
nineteenthly, Aug 27 2008

       You could drop a few dozen of them in our local "wreck alley" and they'd make great diving.
normzone, Aug 27 2008

       Most species of Hermit crabs live in colonies, and have a fairly complex social behavior. Many exhibit a behavior callled "shell fighting," [link] wherein the social status of crabs is determined. Shell fights consist of one crab using its shell to "tap" on another's shell until the attacked crab gives up its shell, allowing the assailant to take over its new housing.   

       In a previous life, I was commissioned by a faculty member in Biology to design and build a microprocessor-based instrument ("Crab-Tapper") which recorded shell fights on a flat poly-planar loudspeaker. The system was able to analyze fights for duration, repetition rate, and amplitude of the tapping, and reproduce successful tapping sequences in order to secure a supply of "naked" crabs for further experimentation.   

       The Prof. was able to simulate a crab tapping using a pencil, but was tired of manually denuding individual crabs.   

       I would have loved to have had a supply of this product! +
csea, Aug 27 2008

       What about the amoebas? Amoebae?
nineteenthly, Aug 27 2008

       Not only is this one of the best ideas I have ever seen on the HB, I am making it my personal goal to use the phrase //manually denuding individual crabs// in normal conversation.
MikeD, Aug 27 2008

       // so they'll eventually break down similar to a real shell //   

       You mean, like hundreds of white-hot metal splinters flying off in all directions at supersonic speed ? That would be neat; but bad for the little crabs.
8th of 7, Aug 27 2008

       "manually denuding individual crabs"   

normzone, Aug 27 2008

       + probably the only time I would think a tank was cute!
xandram, Aug 28 2008

       //In a previous life, I was commissioned by a faculty member in Biology to design and build a microprocessor-based instrument ("Crab-Tapper") which recorded shell fights on a flat poly-planar loudspeaker//
Some guys get all the good jobs.
coprocephalous, Aug 28 2008

       Whilst the general idea is good, the execution is faulty. Given the choice, no self respecting, fighting crab would choose a Sherman. The Panther or Tiger tank would be a better choice and, being German vehicles, would also allow you to use the actual band (Herman's Hermits) in the idea name.
DrBob, Aug 28 2008

       Ah - but the Sherman has the more inviting hump backed profile to attract the discerning hemit crab, and if there is only one tank on offer, then no crab is disadvantaged by making this choice.
xenzag, Aug 28 2008

       I always thought it was a bad thing to get crabs in the tank.   

       This is really brilliant!
calum, Aug 28 2008

       Tanks for the memories...
csea, Aug 28 2008

       Now I have "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" stuck in my head. Could be worse, I guess.
normzone, Aug 28 2008

       To support a more interesting display during "shell fighting" could we add a simulated muzzle flash? Sound effects? Powered from a small solar panel on the back of the tank...   

       ID numbers painted on the tanks and underwater cameras would support satellite wagering on which crab is the most likely to win the competition for the new shell.
James Newton, Aug 28 2008

       It's very difficult to break into sportscasting, but you have to start somewhere.
normzone, Aug 28 2008

       //The Prof. was able to simulate a crab tapping using a pencil, but was tired of manually denuding individual crabs. //   

       The nerds of academia, pencil-wrestling hermit crabs for their shells. Such bullies!   

       (A great and goofy idea, xenzag.)
ldischler, Aug 29 2008

       It's good to know that they are keeping themselves occupied though. Just think what they could be getting up to if they weren't harassing shellfish.
DrBob, Aug 29 2008

       Can we not have a variety of tanks available and the annual competitions where teams of trained crabs re-enact WW2 battles, points awarded for formation tightness, historical accuracy and difficulty of battle attempted, kind of like diving.
Germanicus, Aug 29 2008

       // annual competitions where teams of trained crabs re-enact WW2 battles //   

       "And with that statement, the case of the State vs. [Germanicus] was proven ....."   

       Interviewer: "So, what was your previous job ?"   

       Applicant: "I was a professional Hermit Crab trainer. We used to dress them up in little model tanks and teach them to re-enact historic battles."   

       Interviewer: "Thankyou. We'll let you know. Don't call us, we'll call you. You can go now. Please. Go Now. Go. Just go , OK ? GET OUT !"
8th of 7, Aug 29 2008

       Professional Hermit Crab Trainer? (link)
normzone, Aug 29 2008

       Oh my starfish...this made me laugh so hard!
blissmiss, Aug 30 2008

       I discovered, while playing with hermit crabs on a beach, that hermit crabs will leave their shell if placed in fresh water. It would then be simple to put them in salt water with a selection different-sized tank 'shells'.
hippo, Sep 01 2008

       <sound of digging>
<sound of digging>
<sound of coffin lid being pried open>

       <sound of papyrus scroll being unrolled>

       "There are two goldfish in a tank. One says to the other, 'Hey, you load the gun, I'll steer !'"
<sound of grave being filled in>
8th of 7, Sep 01 2008

       My wife would've loved this. She kept a pet hermit crab in her youth.
RayfordSteele, Sep 02 2008

       //hermit crab in her youth//   

       I read that as mouth, and was scared for a minute.
Custardguts, Dec 03 2008


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