Coconut Crab & Amelia Earhart: Unraveling the Mystery

coconut crab amelia earhart

Amelia Earhart, the iconic aviator, has been a subject of intrigue and speculation for decades. Her mysterious disappearance in 1937 has led to numerous theories, some more plausible than others. Among these, the coconut crab theory stands out, intertwining the fate of the famous pilot with the world’s largest terrestrial arthropod. In this article, we delve into this fascinating theory and explore the connections between Amelia Earhart, a missing rifle, and the powerful pincers of the coconut crab.

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An Amelia Earhart Conspiracy: The Coconut Crab Connection

The coconut crab, with its powerful pincers and imposing size, is an icon in its own right. Native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, these crabs are known for their ability to crack open coconuts with their strong claws. But how does such a creature connect with Amelia Earhart?

The theory suggests that after Earhart’s plane crashed on the remote Nikumaroro Island, she may have survived for a while but eventually succumbed to the elements. The coconut crabs, drawn by the scent, might have scattered her remains, making it difficult for any search party to find conclusive evidence of her fate.

A Missing Rifle and Powerful Pincers: The Evidence

Supporting this theory is the discovery of a 1930s woman’s shoe and a sextant box on Nikumaroro Island, which some believe belonged to Earhart. More chillingly, a British colonial officer found a human skull on the island in 1940, alongside a sextant box similar to the one Earhart’s navigator, Fred Noonan, would have used.

Additionally, a report from 1940 mentions the discovery of a human skeleton alongside a Benedictine bottle (a herbal liqueur Earhart was known to carry) and a sextant box near the island’s lagoon. Nearby, a campsite with evidence of recent habitation and a box that once contained a Brandis Navy Surveying Sextant, similar to the one used by Noonan, was found.

But perhaps the most intriguing piece of evidence is the missing rifle. Gerald Gallagher, a British colonial officer, reported finding a skeleton with signs of having been disturbed by coconut crabs. He noted that a rifle had been left near the site, suggesting someone might have tried to fend off the crabs.

What is the Coconut Crab Theory Amelia Earhart?

The coconut crab theory posits that after Earhart’s plane went down, she and Noonan found themselves stranded on Nikumaroro Island. With limited resources, they tried to survive, but the island’s harsh conditions and potential threats from coconut crabs made their situation dire. The crabs, attracted by the scent of decaying flesh, might have disturbed Earhart’s final resting place, scattering her bones and making it nearly impossible for future investigators to piece together the puzzle of her disappearance.

Was Amelia Earhart’s Bones Found?

While the discovery of a human skeleton on Nikumaroro Island in 1940 sparked interest, initial measurements suggested the bones belonged to a male. However, recent re-evaluations using modern forensic techniques indicate that the bones are more consistent with a female of Earhart’s stature. Despite this, the bones have been lost, and what remains are measurements and records that continue to fuel speculation.

What Was the Last Thing Amelia Earhart Said?

Amelia Earhart’s last known communication was a radio transmission to the US Coast Guard cutter Itasca, stating, “We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait.” The cryptic message has been analyzed countless times, but its exact meaning remains a mystery.

How Old Would Amelia Earhart Be If She Was Still Alive?

Born on July 24, 1897, Amelia Earhart would be 126 years old in 2023 if she were still alive. While her life was tragically cut short, her legacy as a pioneering aviator and feminist icon endures.


The mystery surrounding Amelia Earhart’s disappearance continues to captivate the world. The coconut crab theory, while intriguing, is just one of many. Whether or not the crabs played a role in the concealment of Earhart’s remains, their inclusion in this enduring enigma adds another layer to the legend of Amelia Earhart. As investigations continue and new evidence emerges, one can only hope that the final chapter in Earhart’s story will someday be written.

FAQs: Coconut Crab & Amelia Earhart Mystery

1. What is the coconut crab theory related to Amelia Earhart?

  • The theory suggests that after Earhart’s plane crashed on Nikumaroro Island, coconut crabs might have scattered her remains, making them hard to find.

2. Were Amelia Earhart’s bones discovered?

  • A human skeleton was found on Nikumaroro Island in 1940, but its connection to Earhart remains speculative.

3. What was Amelia Earhart’s last known communication?

  • Her last transmission was: “We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message.”

4. How old would Amelia Earhart be today?

  • Born in 1897, she would be 126 years old in 2023.

5. Did a missing rifle connect to the coconut crab theory?

  • A rifle was found near a skeleton on Nikumaroro, suggesting someone might have tried to fend off the crabs.

6. Is the coconut crab theory widely accepted?

  • It’s one of many theories about Earhart’s disappearance and remains a topic of debate.
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