Crabs Spilled in Accident All Looted by Chinese Within 5 Minutes

Chinese residents of Changsha looting the crabs that spilled out of a van in a traffic accident.

Chinese residents of Changsha looting the crabs that spilled out of a van in a traffic accident.

From NetEase:

Traffic Accident Spills Crabs and Alligator All Over Ground, Passersby Loot All the Crabs Within 5 Minutes

At around 9:30 in the morning of October 15th, where Renmin Middle Road and Wanggongtang Street come together in Changsha, a van and a Jeep off-road vehicle had a fender-bender, with a large amount of crabs in the van spilling onto the road, where they were all looted by passerbys. Even an alligator fell out of the van. Source: Xiaoxiang Morning Post (photos: Qian Bao)


Within minutes, the surrounding road was crawling with hairy crabs, some crawling over to the opposing lanes, run over by passing cars. An alligator with its mouth tied shut lay on the road surface, inciting screams from passerbys. Upon discovering this, the vehicle owner first grabbed the alligator and put it back into the van. Photo is of passersby looting the crabs.




Hearing passersby yelling, nearby residents one after another ran over, with some carrying buckets, and others carrying snake skin bags to loot the crabs, though most simply used their hands to enter the fray. Upon seeing hairy crabs crawl under cars, some people got down on the ground to get the crabs under the cars, with the car owner not knowing whether to laugh or cry. About five minutes after the incident began, all of the crabs on the road were looted clean.


A little past 10am on the morning of the 15th, the road surface was still scattered with the remains of quite a few hairy crabs, with several hairy crabs on the side that were crushed by cars. Outside a restaurant n the side, one man carried a snakeskin bag filled with the hairy crabs he had looted, numbering at least 20-30.

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Comments from NetEase:

扬帆乘风 [网易四川省乐山市网友]:

Why is that when a truck carrying money flips over and spills money all over the ground, there isn’t anyone picking it up? Could it be that everyone regards money as dirt!?

风起雨扬 [网易广东省东莞市网友]:

China’s ordinary common only know how to take this sort of petty advantage, while actually having a lot of their interests exploited without knowing to fight for them.

冷眼观河蟹 [网易山东省济南市网友]:

Sometimes, I even get the feeling, that for thousands of years, the spirit/mentality of this place seems to have never changed.
As people’s hearts become more complicated [worse] in an ancient country/civilization, is all the wealth worth it?

网易福建省福州市网友 ip:211.143.*.*

Sigh, [we] look at Indians from afar, and look at Chinese people up close.

统一100 [榜上有名]:

Face [dignity] can be lost, but petty advantage must not.

lbg224522 [网易广西南宁市网友]:

Can a country that completely lost 5000 years of civilization in less than 20 years be saved?

三斗米王爷 [网易浙江省金华市网友]: (responding to above)

Stop fantasizing, it has always been like this for 5000 years.

清风泛舟 [网易广东省佛山市网友]:

Our ugly countrymen!

大中华审帖部部长 [网易北京市网友]:

Motherfucking, those who don’t loot are the crabs.

xiaotaiyeye [网易河北省秦皇岛市网友]:

Fuck, I don’t even know what to say.

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Kevin Yu

    So would it be considered theft according to the chinese laws?

    • AbC

      only if property being looted belonged to government officials, relatives of officials or rich people who can bribe officials. Otherwise, it’s fair game.

  • Insomnicide

    River crabs for everyone.

  • slob

    Never seen people so happy to get crabs

    • slob2

      Damn clicked on the article just to make that joke

  • AbC

    Seriously though… They make 20-30 small hairy crabs sound like a fortune in this article. It’s worth like 10 yuan in the markets for fucks sake.

    And wtf’s with the gator being transported in a van full of crabs?

    • JayJay

      I believe the gators are also food.

      • mr.wiener

        I imagine it tastes a lot like croc, which for me tastes like rather bland fishy chicken.

        • JayJay

          I’ve been told it tastes like snake. Then again, I’ve no idea…

          • mr.wiener

            I’ve tried snake too. Same as but more nasty little bones.

          • Rick in China

            bland fishy chicken? No no.. can be really tasty, just, a bit chewy. Lots of thai restaurants in China serve alligator — really quite good from what I’ve tried.

          • SongYii

            I’ve had it in the U.S., bar in Atlanta serves it. Purty good, but a little stringy.

          • Rick in China

            Yeah it probably could be — I think there would be several factors, 1) different genus of croc/gator (especially when comparing saltwater croc and freshwater gator) may have slightly different attributes, 2) the location of the body that the meat came from (ie. tail probably tastes a lot different than belly), 3) how it’s cooked definitely has an impact on the taste & texture, etc. etc.

            Atlanta.. I saw an episode of hell’s kitchen recently where they were doing the identify-the-protein challenge, and this dude from the *deep south*.. there’s like 40 meats up there, it’s not his turn, but the guy opened the dish and the crazy deep south dude starts going nuts yelling “IT’S GATAH SON IT’S GATAH” — in a gumbo. Gator @ bar in Atlanta, for some reason, made me think of that.

          • SongYii

            The EARL in Atlanta serves fried gator tail fingers, almost certainly from farmed gators in neighboring Florida. And that totally sound like something a Deep Souf Southerna would say.

          • lacompacida

            Yep, it taste like snake, or fishy chicken, depends on whether you like chicken or snake. But it is a lot tougher.

          • David

            yea but snake takes like bland chicken

      • AbC

        Yeh, I get that. Anything ‘not-human’ is food in China (even that’s not strictly true…). Just curious about how the two got mixed together.

        • Ken Morgan

          I dunno about that. There are a lot of urban legends about the great leap forward famine. About how families ganged up on the village idiot. Murdered them and ate them. Then when things got bad swapped children and ate them too. I’ve found Chinese of that era don’t like to talk about it. They will forcefully change the subject… even more suspiciously a lot of them will say we ate carrots. They always say carrots which sounds like a suspiciously specific denial. Checking the energy content of carrots, they’d need a hell of a lot of carrots just for one day.

          • Teacher in China

            It’s more than rumours. Read “Mao’s Great Famine” – there were a lot of documented cases of cannibalism during the Great Leap Forward. Sorry I can’t be more specific – my book is in China and I’m in Canada at the moment.

          • Ken Morgan

            I’ve seen some of the documented cases, there is a picture of a guy called Liu with his son dismembered in a cooking pot. The fact few want to talk about it fans the flames that it was QUITE widespread. Unlike how it is portrayed whereby oh we never did it we had carrots. The next village did, but no not us!

          • don mario

            that is absolutely insane. i heard a dude talking about that time like it was actually worse than the crimes committed in WW2 just that chinese rather keep it under wraps so it is less known about.

      • lacompacida

        Gators are food, of cause. Just toss it quickly in a hot wok, and make sure it is not over cooked. That’s the US way. The Chinese would boil it to death and can only have the broth, not the meat.

        • Alex Dương

          The US way is to use a wok?

          • lacompacida

            US use whatever works.

    • mr.wiener

      If his mouth wasn’t taped shut he’d become an even more sought after delicacy: “gator stuffed with hairy crabs”.

    • jin

      The crabs cost 680–700 yuan per kilogram……

      • AbC

        You only pay that sort of outrageous price for the genuine Yancheng Lake crabs, and only for the proper sized ones that’s nearly the size of your palm. In the pictures above, they appear to be much smaller. If it’s just your common river breed hairy crabs, many country town fish markets have hairy crabs for about 20-30yuan per half kilo.

      • iLcOrNaLiTo

        Not at all, that’s fake touristy price, I work in the food industry and buy hairy crabs every year. AbC is right about the price.

        • jin

          Fake touristy price??? Are you kidding me, are you really working in the food industry? Hairy crab prices goes up and up the bigger they are, small ones cost 10-20 yuan but bigger ones cost 50-60 yuan and large ones cost a lot more.

    • KamikaziPilot

      I think the article was more about the fact that some Chinese will do almost anything to get anything for free. I wouldn’t be surprised if a truck spilled a bunch of condoms, marbles, cookies, water bottles or whatever, if it’s in a city they’ll be people that will loot them. I think it’s the thought of getting something for free that appeals to this segment of the population.

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      You wouldn’t talk like that if you were the vendor and your week’s earnings have just been picked up an carried away in 5 minutes…

  • mr.wiener

    A China moment.
    I sometimes wonder if is just people from the bottom end of the social scale, or people from all walks of life who would join in.
    At any rate this is a cringe worthy moment.

    • firebert5

      Do you know if that first comment was referring to a specific event or was he being sarcastic? It seems unfathomable that a truck would lose money on the road and people would see it but not do anything about it. Unless it was a bank truck and the guards with shotguns were threatening passersby.

  • JayJay

    ‘Crab’ them while you can.

  • Some sort of Chinese Worldstar moment

  • JayJay

    The way to get rid of contaminated food in China is to have an ‘accident’ in a populated area during transport, provided the contamination is not apparent on the outset.

    • hehehehh

      stop being so damn negative.

    • lonetrey / Dan

      brilliant, actually.

  • yurah

    They’re just like the black people from west Oakland

    • FYIADragoon

      Or New Orleans. Or more recently: St. Louis.

  • Fdom

    Where was the Chinese Oprah? You get a crab! You get a crab! EVERYONE GETS CRABS!!!

  • commander

    Doesn’t capturing crabs, thrown out on the street from the truck by the impact of the traffic incident, run afoul of law, like theft?

    The smartphone-videotaped footage is material evidence if picking up the crabs is against the law.

    • Jahar

      yeah. the police are gonna track down the crab thieves..

      • commander

        Another point I was wondering is : Why the truck driver or whoever can claim the ownership of the strewn crabs didn’t call the police to prevent passers from takeing away crabs up grabs?

        One feasible reason is that the truck driver may have found himself dumbfounded to watch an unblievable drama: Passers-by suddenly turned into thieves in broad daylight.

        • AbC

          No one including the driver would be ‘dumbfounded’ at what’s occured. He was trying to grab the more valuable gator and simply knew that there was nothing he could do to prevent the crowd from looting the little crabs. If another accident occured and spilled something else all over the road, he’d probably join in the looting himself.

        • Jahar

          Yeah they didn’t really say what he was doing during all of this.

  • Amused

    “one man carried a snakeskin bag filled with the hairy crabs he had looted, numbering at least 20-30”

    Can you really call him a man if he’s rocking a snakeskin bag?

    • Jahar

      and he fills it with crabs…

    • AbC

      The snakeskin bag the article is referring to is not actually what you had in mind. I believe they are referring to the rice bag which looks similar to the shed skin of snakes (you only see rice bags like that in Asian grocers if you don’t live in China).

    • Mony Xie

      What we Chinese are referring to when we say snakeskin bag (蛇皮袋) is this:

  • Environmentalist

    Who will save the crabs from the Chinese?

    • JayJay


  • KamikaziPilot

    Just a guess but I’d think the mentality of those grabbing the crabs like an armoured car that spilled it’s loot is this: It’s either free food or free money, no matter how little. It’s just instinct for people like this. Their eyes light up when they can get something for free, legally or not, as long as they don’t get caught. It gives them a sense of accomplishment. And of course the group mentality kicks in. One person doing it just encourages others to do the same. Really if you’re going to steal crabs, I don’t know whether to feel sorry for you, laugh, cry. Best thing to do is expose the looters. Then everyone will know how pathetic they are, not sure they care though.

    • Hi there! You look Japanese. Are you Japanese? In Japan, you never see this happen because people there are well educated in most terms. Japanese mentality dictates that we are of higher order and don’t submit ourselves to 3rd world habits. In China however, it’s different. Even in sports they show no sportsmanship (in international tournaments) and a lot of the people are greedy unless you’re from 1st world areas like Taiwan or Hong Kong.

      I see this a lot in Canada. I live in a Chinese community and mainland immigrants are usually pretty bad. Only 20% of the mainland population where I live are considered as “1st world people.”

      So the point is, you really only see such “greedy mentality” performed by the mainlanders. You don’t often see it with other races.

      • vincent_t

        “We are higher order”
        Seriously?? honestly I don’t feel sorry for you if any Chinese beat you up just because you are a japanese.

      • Jannick Slavik

        Regardless, the xenophobia and racism in Japanese culture is an embarrassment, and speaks to the parochial, hick mind-set of many Japanese. This is something Japan and China share in common.

        China is just a few decades behind the development curve. China made some poor choices leading to exploitation, colonization, and a subsequent brutal invasion by the Japanese that created a power vacuum that ultimately led to the rise of Mao and the Communists. They’ll catch up.

        • Yes!

          Looks like you have more faith in them Chinese than the Chinese have in themselves. For what it’s worth, their behaviour has been this way since their great great great great great grandfathers’ time. There’re now over 1 billion Chinese brought up on a unwavering diet of we-love-China-we-are-patriots-and-we’re-proud-of-our-culture, don’t think it’s gonna be any different 50 years from now. They’ll probably just get richer and try to expand their Chinese culture (and I don’t mean art or music culture) to the rest of the world, including the it’s-smart-to-steal-crabs-fallen-out-of-accident-trucks kind. Wealth trumps class.

          • Jannick Slavik

            Ah, i just call it like it is. Reading history, you can see these generalizations have been used again and again. It was nary 125 years ago that folks in Europe were making these generalizations about “uncouth” Americans. Look how that turned out just a few generations later.

            Go to Taiwan or HK, places that are simply a few decades along the development curve, and you can see the differences.

            Even In China, there is a watershed change in behaviors just in the last decade. The youngsters currently in China will be the first generation of globalized citizens. I am cautiously optimistic.

          • Jannick Slavik

            “Wealth trumps class.”

            It sure does, until one sufficiently escapes the poverty trap to re-invest in themselves via self-improvement (culture, education, sports).

          • Alex Dương

            I’m sure they said the same thing about your Chinese ancestors in Singapore 150 years ago. Of course, you are different because you are special.

          • vincent_t

            They are catching up. U can choose to deny it and continue to think u r superior, just like how some people sneer at them when they first opened up to the world. But 1 thing for sure, these Chinese are desperate to improve themselves. It starts with economy, then technology and it will eventually move into culture and spiritual.

        • KamikaziPilot

          Put it this way, East Asia is way more racially conscious than Western countries in general. This means they see race first, other attributes later, compared to someone who grew up in a western country. This can be positive or negative racism so it can be either beneficial or detrimental to you depending on your skin color and the situation. Everyone has racial prejudices to a degree and I wouldn’t say East Asians are more or less racist than other people from different regions. It really depends on what situation you’re talking about.

      • Mcgee

        Isn’t japan a first world country? Why would you even submit yourself to “3rd world habits” if you’re from a first world country?
        I don’t understand this comparison between the Japanese and Chinese. -.-

        • Jannick Slavik

          you know what they say about folks who are constantly making pronouncements about how ethical or moral they are.

          usually, it’s to compensate for all the skeletons in the closet.

          from what i understand, shrinks would have a field day in Japan

        • I’m simply comparing the difference between Japanese and Chinese mentality in certain fields of professionalism.

      • guest

        To add what’s already been said.
        Xenophobia and racism are bad in any culture not just Chinese and Japanese.
        Which Chinese media outlet called the American ambassador a “rotten banana”

        But you have to reminder yes China is behind the
        development curve, due to numerous factors including Maos chaotic rule, this
        kind of behaviour is most likely a knock back from the times when food was in short, i.e, if you didn’t push in line or grasp what you could at the time you starved.

        • Jannick Slavik

          “Xenophobia and racism are bad in any culture not just Chinese and Japanese. ”

          No….That is false relativism.

          Xenophobia and racism are not as bad in any culture. Go to Toronto, London, New York. These populations are FAR MORE TOLERANT and actually celebrate these differences, speaking generally of course.

          Go to Vancouver for example, over half the population of that city is from Asia.

          So no, despite what Japan tries to portray to the world, they are starkly in the hick parochial camp when it comes to clinging to their homogeneity. FWIW, I don’t think Mainland China even attempts to hide their parochialism

      • KamikaziPilot

        I’m American by nationality, Japanese by ancestry. The behavior you describe is true to a large extent, but really every culture has its good and bad. Many things I don’t like about Japanese culture too, such as too conformist. I don’t really identify with Japanese too much or even American. I’m just my own person without a group to belong to many times.

        • I think it’s a good thing if you try to live up to your Japanese roots. For example, I want to be proud of both being a Canadian and a Japanese, so I study the Japanese language and I plan to go to graduate school in Japan. On an unrelated note, can I add you on twitter or facebook or something? I’d like to have more Japanese friends. :D

          • KamikaziPilot

            Actually I’m not really proud of being American or Japanese. To me it’s just by circumstance that I was born of a certain race in a certain country. I’m not ashamed of being American or Japanese either, it’s just that I don’t really identify with either. Each person is different, if you want to study Japanese or move to Japan, good for you. I actually am not on social media so I’m afraid we can’t be cyber friends :(

  • SongYii

    Dishonest losers.

  • B*tches, Leave

    Nothing will top “Black Friday” in my book …

  • Nana

    hairy crad is expensive!
    about 30 for tiny one, 60 for big one.
    average city folks still do not buy often.
    i understand.

  • Jannick Slavik

    This story is awesome. Crab thieves, public looting,…look how smug the woman looks in picture 19. Only in China can looting bring such social harmony

    Stories like this make me miss living in China

  • codfilet

    I’m surprised that most of the grabbers seem to be quite young. I have an orchard specializing in Asian Pears, and older people, Koreans especially, can be amazingly greedy, often outright stealing the fruit. Young people are rarely like this, however. My wife feels this is a result of these old people going hungry back in Korea or wherever-I suppose there is some basis for that.

    • Billy

      I lived in Korea for 10 years, until 2008, and saw similar spills on the road couple of times, and nobody behaved this way. Even with older Koreans, they maybe rude and unfriendly, but what they don’t do is outright steal. I even accidentally left my wallet in the middle of a cafe, and not a penny was taken out of the wallet, nor was my bag touched at all when I accidentally left it on a bench and boarded a bus. When I went back to where I had left it, it was there exactly where I had left it.

      • codfilet

        If it had been a pear, it wouldn’t have been still there…..

  • Surfeit

    So busy looting crabs they didn’t notice PSY in the black jeep.

  • Surfeit

    Brings something to mind. “That is their primary method of survival. Keep us asleep, keep us selfish, keep us sedated.” Although I’m not sure the principle applies so strictly here.

  • Foreign Devil

    that was an endangered croc no doubt. To be non-human creature in China is the worse fate.

  • Foreign Devil

    I read that 99% of “hairy crabs” are not hairy crabs but other species dressed up to look like Hairy crabs. Sooo. . if these are genuine they must be worth a lot of money.

  • David

    I have only had large gator in the U.S., in Mississippi and it was cooked on hot coals (7 feet of gator would not fit in a wok without being cut up)

  • 日暮かごめ

    Thats a lot of crabs

  • BillBo

    I love the guy with the leather jacket, Roy Bans* sunglasses and Jeet* 4×4 in the first picture. Not what you think of when you think of the Chinese 8) Also, this type of thing is a phenomenon of poorer nations. The same thing happens in Central/South America, Africa and the Middle East.

  • James C

    Best part of this is “within 5 minutes.” This is how it is in China though I guess. If it is free, it will be gone in 5 minutes. This is probably also why so many restaurants don’t provide tissues. To be honest, in my opinion, if this happened in Taiwan, people will help the driver pick up all the crabs… in 5 minutes.