Have you heard the one about the crab and the underwater volcano?

A spider crab at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. To the best of our knowledge, this crab is innocent of any scientific crabotage. | Photo by Doug Duran/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Studying an underwater volcano is hard enough without a spider crab getting in the way. In an absolutely delightful field dispatch, Jes Burns of Oregon Public Broadcasting tells the story of a crab, some geologists just trying to set up their equipment, and a remotely operated vehicle named Jason that, from the sound of it, is locked in seemingly eternal crustacean combat.

“We expect sabotage, crab sabotage. Because there’s obviously a battle going on between Jason and the crabs at Axial Seamount,” Oregon State University volcanologist Bill Chadwick told Burns.

Burns is embedded on a ship with Chadwick and other researchers, reporting on the serious scientific effort to study the Axial Seamount, an underwater volcano 300 miles off the…

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