The World’s Largest Horseshoe Crab Is in Hillsboro

This burnt-orange roadside attraction is a true piece of Americana—and worth a road trip.

Photograph by Brittany Dexter

Nearly 600 miles from the Atlantic Coast, “The World’s Largest Horseshoe Crab” resides not in water, but on a well-mowed lawn in Hillsboro. The foam-and-fiberglass arthropod—which measures about 67.5 feet long, 33 feet wide, and 10.5 feet high—lures tourists from State Route 124 to the small Highland County town. “It has put Hillsboro on the map,” says Ben Sexton, who recently sold the crab to his brother, Jim. “People travel from everywhere to see this crab.” Before anchoring outside Ben’s home, the oversized sea creature traversed the country. Built in 1997 for a Baltimore biotechnology research institute, the crab was purchased for the Creation Museum in Kentucky and later donated to a creationist church in Blanchester. Ben visited the crab during business trips and, in 2015, purchased the burnt-orange piece of Americana to complement his vintage-camper rental company. Since then, the iconic crab has reeled in thousands of visitors, estimates Ben’s neighbor, Harrison Gallaugher. And the Sexton brothers plan to keep it that way. “I don’t know what the future holds for the crab,” Ben says, “but I know [Jim] has no plans to move it.”

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