Meet Howie the Crab: The Hat Wearing, Caviar Eating, Viral Sensation

Everyone loves Howie the Crab!

Lauren Wellbank - Author

Apr. 18 2024, Published 12:59 p.m. ET

Howie the Crab wearing hats
Source: howiethecrab/TikTok

Howie the Crab has taken the internet by storm, thanks to her photogenic nature and beautiful blue color. But the most endearing thing about this little crustacean has to be just how un-crablike this little crab can be! Instead of spending her days scavenging for food, she gets to kick back with her favorite human, noshing on caviar, and taking afternoon strolls, all while wearing custom hats on her adorable little head.

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And that's not all! Howie's caretaker says that Howie has an uncanny way of communicating with her, further charming her way into the hearts and minds of people on TikTok and beyond. So please, let me introduce you to Howie the Crab so that you too can fall in love with the darling little crab and learn a little bit more about the internet sensation.

Howie the Crab wearing her hats
Source: howiethecrab/TikTok
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Meet Howie the Crab!

Omaha, Nebr. may seem like an odd place to raise a rainbow crab, but that's exactly what Laura Porter is doing, documenting Howie's life online for her fans in the process. The mother and animal lover has been sharing Howie's story on social media, welcoming strangers into her and Howie's life in an effort to raise awareness about how smart and loving crabs can be.

Porter opened up to People magazine in an exclusive interview, where she explained how the pair came to live together. Apparently, the world has Porter's daughter to thank for the pairing, since it was the young girl who initially wanted to bring Howie home. Instead, it became Porter who Howie bonded with, and the pair have been inseparable ever since.

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Fans have been able to follow along with the family's adventures thanks to Porter, who shares clips of Howie wearing her favorite caps and snacking on her favorite treats. Porter takes her role as Howie's caregiver seriously, so not all of her videos are solely for entertainment value. Porter also uses this opportunity to teach her followers how intelligent crabs can be — she communicates through sign language! — while touching on some interesting things about their lifecycle.

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Howie may be entering her final molt phase.

Sadly, those who love Howie the most may soon have to say goodbye. Porter has informed her many fans that Howie is entering into what appears to be her last molt. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) describes molting as the process that crabs and other crustaceans go through during a growth spurt. This can be a very painful time in a crab's life, since it involves separating their skin from their shells.

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Porter says that Howie is unlikely to survive this final transition, since she has already exceeded the traditional life expectancy for her breed. While many of Howie's fans remain hopeful that this isn't the case, a lot of them have set up a molt watch alongside Porter, counting down the days until it begins. According to Howie's human, it could start sometime in April, which my mean that Howie's time as TikTok's favorite crustacean may soon come to a close.

Hopefully Porter's math is a little off, or else Howie's time in captivity has added a few extra years onto her life, and everyone will get to spend a little more time with the crab. But, if not, I at least hope that Porter is able to take some solace in the fact that she gave Howie the best life ever, all while raising awareness about crabs, both at home and in the wild.

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