Newsflash: There are crabs in landlocked Afghanistan

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A freshwater crab hides Thursday night at Patrol Base Yazzie, Afghanistan, in a nook between the wall of a tent and the dirt below.  Dan Lamothe//Staff

A freshwater crab hides Thursday night at Patrol Base Yazzie, Afghanistan, in a nook between the wall of a tent and the dirt below. // Dan Lamothe / Staff

PATROL BASE YAZZIE, Afghanistan — So there I was, relaxing in my tent here after going outside the wire with Marines on a three-hour evening patrol of Marjah. There was a squeak in the corner, and I saw movement along the wall.

What was it? Upon closer inspect, the fine specimen you see above.

Landlocked country or not, Afghanistan apparently has a population of crabs. I’ll assume they usually hang out near the canals, because that’s the only body of water within miles.

Marines, apparently, are used to the spiky little guys. One member of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, said he found one in his sleeping bag during the initial February push into Marjah.

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About Author

I’m a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

2 Comments

  1. I was in Afghanistan with the 1st IBCT/10th MTN DIV in 2003-2004 and I distinctly remember encountering a fresh water species of crab in a remote mountain village stream during one of our air assault missions. They were cream colored, with purple shades and about the size of a fiddler crab. Like the fiddler, they lived in holes in the mud along the banks. Supposedly the locals ate them, but I never witnessed this practice.

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