In Ocean City, New Jersey it is time for a beauty contest down at the beach. Tomorrow the contestants will arrive, along with the crowds of spectators, and a few protesters. As the competition progresses everyone will be awaiting the awarding of the title Miss Crustacean. This won't be some voluptuous bathing beauty with a sash, but it will be most fetching and comely hermit crab in the area.

Miss Crustacean Contestant
Miss Crustacean Contestant (note: painted shells are not allowed)

The crabs will be accompanied by their owners and colorful dioramas to display them in. Many of these dioramas are reminiscent of grade school projects and show a wild array of creativity. They have fun titles ranging from Crabnado to Little Crab on the Prairie to Crabby Wonka to Pirates of the Crabbean. Even though the photo above shows a crab in a painted shell, no painted shells are allowed in the contest due to concerns for the health of the crabs.

Miss Crustacean Diorama
Miss Crustacean Diorama

Like a certain human beauty pageant that is held annually in Atlantic City, there is even a special song that goes along with the award:

Here it comes, Miss Crustacean...
Here it comes, our ideal...
Isn't it so pretty Crowned today in Ocean City...
Claws so cute and feelers so bitty
It's a crab with true, true gritty...
Oh here it comes Miss Crustacean....

The winning crab even makes a victory walk down a runway covered in a tiny red carpet and bordered by flowers. The winner is also given the much-coveted Cucumber Rind Cup. The owners are the proud recipients of bragging rights.

Miss Crustacean 2015
Miss Crustacean 2015: The Wicked Pinch of the West

The event is sanctioned by NASCRAB, the National Association of Crab Activities at the Beach. This organization provides information on the care of pet hermit crabs and helps find homes for crabs that have been given up by their owners.

Protester at the Miss Crustacean Pageant
Protester at the Miss Crustacean Pageant

Of course every beauty pageant has its share of detractors and this one is no exception. Protestors also appear at this event carrying signs that read "Hermit Crabs are not Pets" and "Captivity Kills Hermit Crabs."

If you are in the Ocean City area or thereabouts you can enjoy the festivities at the 6th Street Beach, or even take your hermit crab and register at the event.

Images via Vice

Sources: Vice, Cape May County Herald