But Ralston isn't the only one whose astonishing self-amputation story wound up on the screen. Take a look at this YouTube video, which shows what can happen when a crab tries to steal the eggs of a protective booby hen.
"Even the crab's hard carapace is insufficient defense against the rapid-fire thrusts of the booby's powerful beak," the narrator deadpans. And when the crab's right claw is badly injured by the attack, the brave little fellow pauses briefly on the sand and uses his other claw to chop it off.
Ouch. But don't feel too sorry for the one-clawed crab. Unlike Ralston, crabs can regenerate their missing parts, the narrator says.
How long does it take for a crab's claw to grow back? For adult stone crabs, about a year. Claw regrowth is faster in juveniles.
There are thousands of species of crab, including salt water and fresh water varieties. All have four pairs of walking legs and one pair of chelipeds--that's science-speak for their claws.