UK residents impacted by the recent floods are now dealing with yet another crisis: Chinese mitten crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) crawling out of their toilets.
At first I thought this was a hoax along the lines of the infamous "toilet spider" emails that made the rounds in the late 1990s, but apparently it is real. Water levels have risen so high in the area of Hampton, England that the crabs are able to travel right up the pipes and out into people's homes. This is Local London has the story (along with a rather inappropriate photo of a mitten crab on a plate). The UK's Environment Agency is warning people to, well, keep their toilet seats down.
The crabs aren't just staying in the sewers either - The Richmond and Twickenham Times has this report about a woman who has seen dozens of them running around in her garden over the past week. Chinese mitten crabs were discovered in Europe back in the early 1900s, but until recently their populations in England had remained low. At the very least, this disaster has certainly raised their profile in the minds of homeowners across the UK.