A recent study indicates they do.
Hermit crabs collected in northern Ireland were given a simple test. Researchers gave them an electric shock and recorded the result. Not surprisingly, all the crabs fled their shells in response.
What is somewhat surprising is what happened next. The scientists gave the crabs a mild shock that would only cause some discomfort, then offered the crabs new homes.
The crabs that had been mildly shocked all decided it was time for a new home, with many of them engaging in grooming and other behaviors that are signs of distress in these animals.
I know most people don't care, and it seems like all the biologists in Maine would like to prove otherwise, but these creatures can suffer. So next time you're craving fresh lobster at a nice seafood restaurant, just do me a small favor.
Look over at their live lobsters and imagine how they will feel when they get boiled alive.