A horde of visitors labelled the “stuff of nightmares” unceremoniously interrupted a family’s quiet BBQ.
Earlier this week, the giant crustaceans known as coconut or ‘robber’ crabs swarmed the family’s dinner on Christmas Island.
Images posted on the Facebook page of Christmas Island Tourism show the unusual guests surrounding the children of the family while searching for food.
“Robber crabs behaving badly!” the post said.
“A couple of local Christmas Island families had a few extra mouths to feed at their BBQ over the weekend.
“Coconut crabs have an incredible sense of smell and for slow moving creatures they sure move quickly when there’s food around.”
The crabs are usually harmless despite their size.
But they are known to knick things from nearby campsites, as the name implies.
The guests to dinner were normally unfazed by the family, with one even climbing to a table to steal a snack.
The crabs are protected species on the island , which can weigh up to 4 kg and grow up to one metre in length.