A Snow Queen of a different kind, Chionoecetes opilio - also known as the Snow Crab - is a subarctic species of crab found in the northern hemisphere where the water temperature is always below 4°C.
Although smaller than the King Crab, their size is still impressive, with male Alaska snow crabs reaching 6 inches in shell width. Meanwhile, the female of the species produces between 16,000 and 150,000 eggs in spring. And yet, in 2022, over 11 billion of Alaska’s snow crabs mysteriously disappeared.
So, what happened? Mass migration, mass predation or abduction by a tribe of crab-eating aliens? The truth is likely a mix of overfishing and climate change, but in any case, local seafood restaurant owners are feeling the pinch.