We know wildlife photographer and naturalist Shawn Miller for his awesome images captured using fluorescence photography techniques. But over the last few years, the resident of Okinawa, Japan has been putting together a very different series of pictures—crabs with beach trash homes. Found on his local beaches, the blueberry hermit crabs (Coenobita purpureus)—which are native to Japan—will normally borrow a seashell for a protective home, but when there aren’t any shells around, they improvise, using whatever suitable trash they can find on the beach.
For the images in the series, which are used for education and environmental awareness, Shawn photographed the crabs in their natural environment as well as on a portable white studio board. While it’s an interesting example of adaptive behavior, it’s yet another sobering reminder of the plastic trash that finds its way onto our beaches and into our oceans.
Below, check out more of the images in the series and a video of Shawn talking about the project at the first TEDx OIST in September.
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