Amelia Earhart Eaten By Coconut Crabs Theory and memes.

Amelia Earhart Eaten By Coconut Crabs

Part of a series on Conspiracy Theories. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jul 06, 2022 at 03:03PM EDT by Zach.

Added Jul 06, 2022 at 09:57AM EDT by Owen.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!

You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.

Featured Episode


Amelia Earhart Eaten By Coconut Crabs is a historical conspiracy theory that the famous American pilot Amelia Earhart was eaten by coconut crabs on the island of Nikumaroro following her mysterious disappearance and assumed plane crash over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. The theory has been reiterated by researchers and anthropologists who believe her body and bones were scattered by crabs that consumed her. Most notably starting in 2017, memes and tweets surfaced on social media that referenced the theory likely due to its absurdity and visuals.


In 1940, researchers from the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, or TIGHAR, discovered a fraction of a skeleton on Nikumaroro – an uninhabited atoll about 1,800 miles south of Hawaii[1] – that matched the description of Amelia Earhart.[2] The remains were later lost when transported to Fiji.[3]

In July 2007, an expedition of 15 members of TIGHAR revisited Nikumaroro according to CBS News.[1] The expedition aimed at finding more remains of what could possibly be Amelia Earhart or her aircraft. They spend 17 days searching the two-mile-long island by feeding pigs to coconut crabs and tracking where they scattered the pig's bones.[2] The researchers were also looking for the remains of Fred Noonan, who was aboard Earhart's plane as her navigator.[1]

According to TIGHAR founder and executive director Ric Gillespie, Nikumaroro is packed with voracious coconut crabs that make it necessary to wear shoes at all times.[1] Ultimately, the pig bones were discovered to be scattered at random across the island by the crabs.[2]

In 2018, researchers and anthropologists at the University of Tennessee along with TIGHAR showed various bones discovered that year on Nikumaroro had “more similarity to Earhart than to 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample."[3] These bones were found with the help of dogs borrowed from the Canine Forensics Foundation.[4] This information was provided by National Geographic[4] in an article titled "Colossal crabs may hold clue to Amelia Earhart fate," which was posted online in August 2019.

Besides an article, National Geographic also produced a TV documentary in October 2019 called Expedition Amelia[5] that outlined the researcher's and anthropologist's trip to Nikumaroro.

On October 18th, 2019, the YouTube channel of National Geographic uploaded a two-minute clip from the movie about the 2007 and 2018 expeditions that earned roughly 1.3 million views in three years (shown below, left). Additionally, two years prior on August 25th, 2017, Buzzfeed's YouTube series BuzzFeed Unsolved posted a video about Earhart's disappearance where they talked about the crab theory. The video received roughly 13.3 million views over the course of five years (shown below, right).


Online Reactions and Memes

Buzz surrounding the Amelia Earhart eaten by coconut crabs theory surfaced on Twitter[6] going into 2013, most likely linked to the multiple articles about TIGHAR researchers that had surfaced by that time.

On November 13th, 2017, the Twitter[7] account of Texas news outlet the Austin Statesman posted a tweet about the theory that earned roughly 3,500 likes in five years (shown below, left). The aforementioned tweet, as well as BuzzFeed Unsolved's video, inspired multiple QTs and memes to surface going into the rest of 2017. For instance, on December 6th, 2017, Twitter[8] user logicalpunk captioned the Pepe Silvia meme with "me convincing my speech class that coconut crabs are the reason why we cant find amelia earhart’s body," earning over 25 ikes in three years (shown below, right).

S These crabs can grow up to 3 feet, but did they eat Amelia Earhart? Austin Statesman @statesman 9:10 AM Nov 13, 2017 Social Flow ... @logicalpunk me convincing my speech class that coconut crabs are the reason why we cant find amelia earhart's body M 10:52 PM Dec 6, 2017 Twitter for iPhone .

On February 7th, 2020, Twitter[9] user ballofchlo posted a tweet that portrayed the absurdity of the coconut crab theory by captioning the image macro of DJ Khaled holding a glass of wine. Over the course of two years, the tweet received roughly 3,000 likes (shown below, left). Going into 2022, the theory was referenced more in memes across platforms. For instance, on September 27th, 2021, Instagram[10] user ozziemandius posted a Crab Rave video that received roughly 3,600 views (shown below, right).

summer b*tch @ballofchlo just read a conspiracy theory that amelia earhart's body was eaten by coconut crabs which scattered her bones and that's why her body was never found and i really wish i never had a reason to google "coconut crabs" bc... 5:11 AM Feb 7, 2020 Twitter for iPhone . .

Various Examples

P The Coconut Crab Kills Birds And Breaks Bones - And May Have Eaten Amelia Earhart Alive HE JUST LIKE ME fr

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 1 total

Recent Images 22 total

Top Comments

+ Add a Comment

Comments (23)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Word Up! You must login or signup first!