Steve Simonsen’s Hermit Crab Video Goes Viral


Millions of hermit crabs are the stars in Simonsen’s latest video, filmed at Nanny Point, which has been going viral online and on several television spots, including locally on TV2 as well as the Discovery Channel Canada, Animal Planet and ABC News.

With more than 4 million views on Vimeo, almost 40,000 views on YouTube and appearances on Fox 13 News in Tampa Bay, Florida, and Good Morning America, Steve Simonsen’s video on hermit crab migration has officially gone viral.

Renowned local photographer and videographer Simonsen filmed the four minutes of footage showing millions of hermit crabs during their annual mating migration on the rocky shoreline of Nanny Point on August 28, after being tipped off to the event by St. John resident and author Pam Gaffin.

“This morning I received an urgent telephone call from my good friend Pam Gaffin,” Simonsen posted on the web page along with the video. “She was terribly excited about an event that was happening before her eyes. Pam told me it was a migration of soldier crabs, also called hermit crabs, and there were millions and millions of them she likened it to the migrations of Serengeti.”

“I didn’t need to hear anymore, I loaded my car with cameras and was out the door,” Simonsen wrote. “Pam told me that this began this morning at sunrise at Nanny Point near Concordia. I have heard about this migration for years and knew that it occurred in August, I can’t tell you how happy I am that Pam called. Pam you’re my hero.”

Simonsen posted the video to Vimeo and shared it with friends on Facebook. Less than a month later, the video began popping up on websites like the home page for Yahoo and AOL, as well as on Canadian Discovery Channel and the Smithsonian.

The footage is impressive with literally what must be millions of hermit crabs, which are also called soldier crabs, making their way along the rocky shoreline of Nanny Point on their way to laying eggs in the water during the annual mating migration.

The video’s popularity will surely only increase after being featured on the Tuesday, September 11, episode of Good Morning America. The segment did, however test the theory that no publicity is bad publicity.

After introducing the clip as “fascinating and rather terrifying,” GMA Anchor Josh Elliott asks his co-hosts to “remind me never to return to St. John.”

Check out the GMA clip at and watch Simonsen’s Vimeo page at