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Hermit crab

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The hermit crab is a small crustacean that lives in a shell and is known to inhabit the Northern Air Temple. After outgrowing its shell, the hermit crab abandons it to find a new one.


While Aang, Katara, and Teo explored the Northern Air Temple, they spotted one of these creatures. Teo picked it up and, in an effort to comfort the Avatar, pointed out that even though the temple might have been technologically altered by the mechanist, the creatures living there were likely direct descendants of the animals that had lived during the time of the Air Nomads. Pleased with the idea, Aang later compared the Earth Kingdom refugees who took residence in the abandoned settlement with these creatures by saying, "Maybe you weren't born here, but you found this empty shell and made it your home."[1]


The hermit crab has two black, beady eyes and is covered by a thick coat of white fur. The creature has six legs, two long, curly black antennae, and a frontal pair of brown pincers. The specimen Aang encountered had a slightly curved black and white shell, but given the nature of the hermit crab, the shells used for shelter may be widely disparate in shape, size, pattern, and coloration.


The hermit crab is a relatively docile and harmless creature that seems to prefer damp, dark places, but is apparently adaptable to change. It uses its shell for protection and shelter and will change shells if it damages or outgrows its current one.


The hermit crab looks similar to its real world namesake, which dwells most often in abandoned conch shells. However, the real world hermit crab does not have fur and lives in the shallows of coastal waters.


  • The hermit crab and the firefly are the only known creatures to have remained in the Northern Air Temple following the Air Nomad Genocide.


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