In the animal kingdom, humans are not the only species with the urge to find a bigger home. One of my favorite videos is the BBC production "Amazing Crabs Shell Exchange." It's had more than 1.5 million views.
Part of the video's attraction is its relevance to real estate. That is, the smallest household (a little hermit crab) has outgrown its current abode and needs something larger. Unfortunately, there's nothing on the market (a beachfront lot). So, the little crab waits for something to come along.
Meanwhile, larger crabs are also feeling the housing pinch (pun intended). When a new shell washes ashore, it sets off a scene reminiscent of California's housing boom that produced wild scrambles for a listing. Hermit crabs line up from largest to smallest awaiting the big homeowner to make its move.
When at last the biggest crab on the block moves into a new home, the vacated shell is quickly claimed by the next largest hermit crab. That one is then claimed by the next in line, and so on until everyone has new digs.
As sometimes happens in real estate with multiple bidders, not everyone lives happily ever after. In the BBC video, the original little hermit crab is shoved aside at the last minute by a neighborhood tough bully who grabs the shell just as the little crab is about to move in.
At this point, the small crab's original shell has already been "sold" to another household, and the smallest crab faces homelessness and death in the hot, tropical sun. Eventually, however, it does find another shell, although it's far from a dream home. Despite a big hole in the shell, the small crab moves in.
That is how real estate works, even if you are crabby.
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In the animal kingdom, humans are not the only species with the urge t
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