Unusual hairy crab found on Dorset beach is a mystery

Hairy crab found on Chesil beach in Dorset Credit: Steve Trewhella

There's excitement in the scientific community after a naturalist found an unusual hairy crab while walking along the Dorset coastline.

Steve Trewhella, who is also a photographer, collected the crab from a buoy which is believed to have drifted 4,000 - 5,000 miles across the ocean, possibly from Florida. Mr Trewhella said that he was not sure if the crab is from an entirely new species or just new to northern Europe.

The naturalist found the crab on Chesil beach two year ago and it is still being examined by the Natural History Museum. He said that while most people might have ignored the buoy or picked it up and discarded it, as a naturalist, his reaction is quite different.

The Natural History Museum said that its scientists are conducting DNA studies on the crab and they will publish more information when they have identified the species. They said that the analysis process can take a different amount of time from species to species.