World's Largest Horseshoe Crab – Hillsboro, Ohio - Atlas Obscura

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World's Largest Horseshoe Crab

Hillsboro, Ohio

How did a massive marine arthropod find its way to landlocked Ohio? 


This gigantic horseshoe crab has migrated from a harbor in Baltimore, Maryland, to dry land in Ohio. This massive piece of art has had four homes over the last 25 years. The first was in Baltimore, the second in a creationist museum in Kentucky, the third outside a church in Blanchester, Ohio, and now in Hillsboro.

Known affectionately as “Crabbie,” the fiberglass arthropod measures 67 feet long, 28 feet wide, and 12 feet high (with an even longer tail that sticks up behind the structure). It was built in 1995 for an attraction in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The structure is open on the inside, with room for dozens of people, and it was initially used as a space for teaching about the Chesapeake Bay’s marine life at the Columbus Center. Videos of sharks hunting were shown inside the huge shell.

After it was purchased at a bankruptcy sale, the horseshoe crab moved to the Midwest where it spent time at two churches. In 2008, daredevil Gene Sullivan jumped over the horseshoe crab and through a flaming “Gates of Hell” as part of his gospel ministry stunt program, Jump for Jesus.

In 2015, the church put Crabbie up for sale. It was purchased by a family in Hillsboro, Ohio, who moved it to their property and set it up as a roadside attraction, where it remains to this day.

Know Before You Go

This sculpture can be easily reached from Cincinnati by taking Interstate 275 East towards Columbus, Ohio. From I 275 use  Exit 59B, to access OH 450 East. At the end of the ramp turn right onto US 50 East and follow it approximately 40 miles to downtown Hillsboro. From East Main Street in Hillsboro take State Route 124 East. Travel about one mile and the Horseshoe Crab exhibit will be on your right. Coming from Chillicothe, Ohio take State Route 50 West 38 miles to Hillsboro. Once you reach Bowers Ave., turn left. At the intersection with State Route 124 turn left again. In a half a mile the crab will be one your right.

There is no admission fee, but there is no place to park on the property. Visitors must pull off State Route 124 onto the shoulder. Be very cautious of traffic. The owners are friendly people and don’t mind the attention Crabbie generates. Be respectful of their field and visit during daylight only.

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