Amelia Earhart's disappearance in her attempt to fly the world has fascinated historians and conspiracy theorists for more than 80 years. One organization now suggests that their fate may have been sealed by giant crabs.
The International Historical Airborne Recovery Group (TIGHAR) believes that Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan could have landed their aircraft on Nikumaroro Island if they could not find their target, Howland Island, and that Nikumaroros endemic Crustaceans may have played a role in the following puzzle.
According to National Geographic there are several references that support the theory of TIGHAR. The large reef that surrounds the Nikumaroro coast makes it an asset for aircraft emergency landings. In 1
If these 13 bones belonged under the reindeer tree Where are the remnants of the unfortunate deceased? Tom King, former chief archaeologist at TIGHAR, believes that coconut crabs can answer this question.
Nikumaroro is home to thousands of colossal creatures that can reach a terrific diameter of 3 feet and weigh 9 pounds. They are sometimes called predator crabs because they like to flee with items that smell like food, and they eat practically everything – coconuts, fruits, birds, rodents, other crabs, their own discarded body parts and carrion.
] So it's not unreasonable to think that coconut crabs ate at Earhart's body and then took their bones home. In an attempt to test the theory, the TIGHAR researchers deposited a pig carcass on the island and filmed the episodes. With the help of small strawberry hermit crabs coconut crabs pulled the pig down to the bones in two weeks. After a year, some of the bones were 60 feet from the original location of the carcass and some were not recovered at all. As in the pig experiment, crabs may have scattered some of Earhart's bones at a distance of several hundred yards, but perhaps not all of them – after all, the forensic dogs smelled bones near the reindeer tree that was not found yet. Currently, TIGHAR is working with the Canine Forensics Foundation to further explore the area.
As we wait for more answers, we discuss these other theories about Earhart's disappearance.
[h/t National Geographic]