howie the crab

Howie the crab celebrates her last birthday with a party.

Bet you didn't know a crab could capture the heart of millions of people. If you did, you've likely met Howie, a rainbow crab that has grown a social media following on TikTok where her owner, Laura Porter, showcases her life. The crab doesn't just spend her life in a tank, she goes on walks using an actual leash, she has toys that she plays with and she has other animal friends in the house.

Howie also loves cheese and knows just the way to get her owners to feed it to her. She even knows sign language. Yes, somehow Porter taught the crab how to use basic signs, so when Howie is feeling a bit famished, she simply signs "eat" and a snack appears.

Countless people are obsessed with Howie and fans waited anxiously for her last molt, which was difficult for the crab. Rainbow crabs only have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years in captivity and Howie just celebrated her 8th birthday.

Porter and followers of Howie know that she likely won't be able to complete the molting process again, which is essential for a crab's survival. That's why Howie's human threw her the sweetest birthday party for her milestone big day. Howie ate cake, wore a party hat and was surrounded by friends. The crab even got a tiny piñata full of her favorite treats.

"Howie has begun 'premolt,' which can last a couple of months. During this time, she will snub food and eat infrequently because she has run out of room in her shell," Porter wrote in the caption.

Porter calls the birthday bittersweet but is hopeful that Howie will successfully molt again, ending the video with "#Moltwatch2023."

"Not me sobbing for Howie's birthday. This is the most loved crab in the world. Thank you for sharing her life with us. You are the best crab mom," one commenter wrote.

"A crab birthday during cancer season could not be more perfect," another said, complete with a sobbing emoji.

"Happy Birthday Howie!!! We are praying for a fast molt, so we can celebrate your 9th birthday next year," someone wrote.


Happy 8th Birthday Howie. It's such a bittersweet milestone! 8 is considered to be her species' maximum lifespan. Howie has begun "premolt," which can last a couple of months. During this time, she will snub food and eat infrequently because she has run out of room in her shell. When she stops eating entirely, the clock will be ticking. Howie has to regenerate her mouth parts, stomach, esophagus, intestines, and gills before she starves or becomes too weak to molt. Until then, we will continue making every day count. If you would like to show support, I made shirts on Amazon. Just search Howie The Crab or find them in my bio. No pressure, just pinches ♥️ We love you Howie 🦀 #howiethecrab #birthdaycrab #moltwatch #moltwatch2023

Everybody is rooting for Howie to have a successful molt, and while the last one was difficult, some rainbow crabs do make it to 10 years old. Here's hoping Howie breaks that record and continues to brighten our day with her funny hats and caviar dates.