Amazing things … creating sculptural shells to give hermit crabs a very twenty first century home …

These are just the best things ever.

Okay so 3D printing is absolutely everywhere these days. But back in 2009 when they were made, these were pretty cutting edge.

But it’s not the affordable 3d printers that we really cared about: it was the sheer creative brilliance (or twistedness, if you prefer) that came of the thought that you could make sculptural, transparent shells for Hermit Crabs and then convince them to move in and make them home.

They are the work of Japanese artist Aki Inomata, and are an art project called “Why not hand over a shelter to hermit crabs?.”

Apparently Aki scanned the perfect shell interior and then she added her own style to the tops of the “interiors” that she created. There are small buildings and skylines – you might recognise the landmarks of New York and Bangkok if you look carefully …