December 07, 2016

Hermit crab shells are one of the oddest places you'll find a city skyline.

Artist Aki Inomata has been creating transparent homes for the little critters, inspired by popular skylines around the world. Atlas Obscura shared a bit behind the process: first, each shell is designed on computer software and 3D-printed out of clear resin. Next, the shells are placed in a cage and the hermit crabs are invited to move in and out of the various structures, whether it's a skyline of New York City or a tiny temple. 

Inomata meant for her project, “Why Not Hand Over a ‘Shelter’ to Hermit Crabs?” to be much more than a few artistic homes. The work also mimics a person traveling to and from various cities. Given the shells' see-through nature, you can now say you've seen a hermit crab awkwardly wriggle into a new haven—emphasis on the awkward.

The video above shows the process behind creating these stunning homes, from a computer screen to 3D printer.

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