Attack of the 13ft crabs
Britain faces giant crustacean terror
Just when weary Britons were anticipating a reopening of their ravaged countryside, a new ecological threat has emerged which could transcend even the foot and mouth crisis.
Birmingham's National Sea Life Centre has taken delivery of five Japanese spider crabs, a creature so fearsome that the aquarium has been forced to take out insurance against the cantankerous crustaceans leaping from their tanks and savaging innocent members of the public.
The eight-legged monsters can reach an impressive 13ft across and live up to 100 years - more than enough time to plan their escape to the wild.
The implications of such a jailbreak are terrifying. When mink - which were being farmed for their pelts - broke free and bred in the wild, the resulting rampage decimated Britain's native riverside fauna. This catastrophe will pale into insignificance should the spider crabs reach the country's waterways.
Having broken the toughened glass of their tanks, the crabs would need only to fight their way past aquarium security, slip unnoticed through the centre of Birmingham and negotiate numerous motorways, including the city's notorious 'spaghetti junction' before scuttling across country to the sea.
Nuclear weapons are likely to prove ineffective against the demonic denizen of the deep's tough exoskeleton, although a pan of boiling water might do the trick.
As we go to press, your reporter is still trying to find an IT angle to this story, although members of the Register SETI group are invited to join Crabwatch - a Vulture Central project to monitor all extra-aquaria crustaceous activity. ®
Remember - know your enemy. You can have a look at the crusty Kraken here. Thanks to Chris "broccoli!" Ferrell for the link.