Who Do You Want to Be?
28 April - 7 May 2021
Hermit crabs were very common in Taiwan where I grew up. They could be found on the beaches and sometimes were sold by vendors by the sea.
Unlike snails which grow their own shells, hermit crabs have to look for existing shelters. They are free - to a certain degree - to choose which shell to live in. However, their choices do not always suit them. In recent years, there has been more and more sightings of them living in plastic bottle caps or other garbage, which is rather sad.
Hermit crabs can (and sometimes have to) move into a different shell. Again, opportunities are limited and therefore, they cannot simply move on whenever they want.
There are other characteristics of hermit crabs which, I think, echo humans'. For example, among hermit crabs, there is competition as well as cooperation for housing. Their shelters offer them protection but are also burdens to carry. Once chosen, the shelter becomes an extension of the hermit crab's core identity, just like our room, clothes and even physical health reflect who we are - or who we want to be.