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In search of the WoW Dragonflight secret crab island cover image

In search of the WoW Dragonflight secret crab island


World of Warcraft Dragonflight is full of secret locations and mysteries, but is the hidden crab island one of them? Let’s investigate.

The newest World of Warcraft expansion Dragonflight is filled with mysteries, many of which have nothing to do with secret crab islands. These range from otter mounts with sunglasses to rideable snails and parchment-based easter eggs. Though I will be the first to admit that as a journalist whose primary beat as of late is World of Warcraft, sometimes we get a bit too ahead of ourselves. In many ways a new expansion is akin to the California gold rush of 1848. Riches and fame--and page views--await any and all who venture into the unknown west to stake their claim.
And yet, sometimes the secret crab island is nothing more than an island filled with crabs. Queue up the National Geographic theme song and let's go on a Dragon-flight to the southern reaches of the Azure Span.
We're out to solve a crab-based mystery.

What is the World of Warcraft Dragonflight secret crab island?

I've mentioned before that there's a Discord server specifically for Dragonflight secrets called WoW Secrets. The group is a dedicated cadre of players all crowdsourcing the answers to the game's biggest questions. This includes the aforementioned secret otter mount and many, many other hidden gems. While looking back through the topics list I discovered an entry back from the beta this past summer left somewhat unsolved.
Far south of the Azure Span, past the fatigue zone, sits the island of Lev'al Rock Isle. If the weather conditions in Azure Span are fair you can actually spot the island from the Azure Archives. However, for the most part the island is so far out that you'd have to know what you were looking for to spot the thing.
There was a fire-laced island with unique crab enemies covered in fire, according to WoW secrets. How unique? Every crab on the island had a dragon skull or bone on its head. And sitting at the center of the small island is a cave with a supposed secret crab boss.
And so, I took a long flight off a tall pier in search of some krusty crabs.

Azeroth Geographic special: Secret Crab Island

<em>The secret crab island.</em>
The secret crab island.
The journey out to the Dragonflight secret crab island of Lev'al was easy enough. After jumping off the tower at the Azure Archives I was on my way, riding the winds past that terrifying fatigue zone. The island itself is small, as it could fit in the Orgrimmar town square if moved. Upon touching down onto its surface I noticed that the ground textures were far different from any other island. Molten in appearance with fiery crags everywhere, the island looked more like the result of a volcanic explosion. And immediately I was greeted by my first sighting of the infamous dragon skull-headed crabs.
<em>Always watching, always judging.</em>
Always watching, always judging.
Like an Azeroth version of Jane Goodall but with digital crabs instead of gorillas, I observed this new species. Three groups of crabs followed a path across the island in a never-ending conga line of crab scuttling. An interesting observation was that the crabs all featured unique coloration patterns. However, the crab at the head of each line was actually a differently named enemy than the rest. These leader crabs also featured a full dragon skull on its noggin, while the followers merely had dragon spines.
It was time for further discovery. And so, I headed inland.

Alliance, Horde; All dead

Avoiding the giant cave at the center of the Dragonflight secret crab island, I analyzed the various unique features scattered about. This included two piles of bones and smoldering meat. One Alliance, another Horde. The weapon models matched the faction insignias left behind, along with more piles of dead flesh. Even more curious is the time frame involved. As the meat looks fresh but with the Dragon Isles only recently opening it would seem impossible anyone would make it this far. Did this mean that someone had discovered the Dragon Isles long before but never made it to the mainland? Did they suffer a crab-based fate?
With more questions than answers I finally delved into the biggest of them all. I headed for the cave of the crab.

Crustosteo: King crab

<em>Fiery. Fierce. Delicious. Deadly.</em>
Fiery. Fierce. Delicious. Deadly.
Inside the central cave of the secret crab island sat the largest crab of them all. Crustosteo is an elite level 70 crab and a unique color pattern and a fiery dragon skull on top of its frame. Featuring around 450,000 health and three unique attacks, it's clear his placement on the island was intentional. His lair is largely uninteresting, with a smattering of bone piles and a few water puddles. One of the crab conga lines also makes its way into the cave at various points, doing a lap in front of their leader and heading back out.
Still no answers. Alas, sometimes the only language for which a mystery can be spoken to is violence. I set upon the crab with my Marksmanship Vulpera Hunter, lighting the beast up with explosives and arrows. Crustosteo fought back with his Stolen Flame ability, but it wasn't enough. The monster fell and I went to claim my prize of....
Nothing. Some grey junk items. Miffed but not deterred, I waited for the monster to respawn.
And waited. But nothing happened. It took over eight minutes for the elite to come back to life, which I then struck down again. Still, no items worth anything. Just rubbish. And once more, I waited to kill the beast. Over and over, in fact. I did this for over an hour.
It was around that hour mark that I began to wonder if I was wasting my time or if there was an endgame in sight. Assuredly, I would be the one to solve the Dragonflight secret crab island mystery.
So, I began to experiment.

The definition of insanity

<em>Stupid island. YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER THAN ME?</em>
For the next two hours I tried everything I could to create some kind of change in my crab-based environment. This included:
  • Attempting--and failing--to tame the crab with my hunter
  • Killing all other crabs on the island before re-engaging Crustosteo
  • Pet battling the Flamelet pets found in small caves around the isle
  • Kiting all the crabs into Crustosteo's lair and killing them all at once
  • Only killing the crabs with dragon skulls on
  • Swimming underneath the island--and dying
It was at this point I discovered another quirk of the secret crab island. After dying, my spirit popped back up on the mainland. This meant I'd have to try and slowly fly through the fatigue zone. And I failed multiple times before giving up and respawning at the spirit healer.
It was at this point that I began to wonder if I was being made a fool. Only then did I look at the official name of the secret crab island and realize that "Lev'al Rock Isle" is somewhat of a play on words. Lev'al. Level.
God, I'm an idiot.
The crab island had played me for a fool. There was nothing special to this island. No unique pets. Zero loot. No achievements. Just a bunch of crabs, out in the middle of nowhere, and a big dummy wasting three hours of his time.

What did we learn?

In a game rife with mysteries it is sometimes easy to think you've stumbled onto something. After all, who among us doesn't want to be the person to discover some cool, new thing? For two decades that has been the calling card of World of Warcraft and one of the main reasons the game persists through changing trends in the industry at-large.
However, in a game that features references to Mr. T, Paris Hilton, Baby Shark, and more, there's another lesson here: Sometimes an island full of crabs is simply that, and we just have to appreciate it for what it is and not try to turn every small, fun mystery into a thing.
Now, if you'll excuse me I have a weird hankering for crab rangoon.
Stay tuned to for all your WoW and crab-based news and notes.
Will Harrison
Will Harrison
Editor | Twitter @Hammer_Barn
Will has over a decade of print and digital journalism experience, with bylines in Polygon, The Escapist, The Toledo Blade, The Austin American-Statesman, and more. He's also the host of the World of Warcraft lore podcast Essence of Azeroth, loves Murlocs just a bit too much, and owns too many cats.