The first Crystal Coconut was featured on the animated series based on the original game. According to legend (mentioned in a few episodes of the show), it was a coconut stolen by the great-great-great grandpappy of Kaptain Skurvy and stashed in the idol of Inka Dinka Doo. Eventually, the idol shed this coconut into a crystal. It was later found by Donkey Kong, who was picked by the Coconut to be the future ruler of Kongo Bongo Island. It usually resides in a protective case in Cranky Kong's cabin, unless it is stolen by King K. Rool, who wants to take over the island, or occasionally Kaptain Skurvy, who claims it to be his birthright. Cranky sometimes uses the Coconut to appear elsewhere on the island as a hologram, usually to deliver news to DK. It seems to be the island's power source, as in one episode, due to a curse laid by Bluebeard Baboon, it goes through a loss of power that nearly results in the island sinking.
Donkey Kong 64 for the Nintendo 64 featured an item with the same name and similar functions. The Crystal Coconuts in the game are collected, and having more of them allows more time for the playable characters to endure the magical transformations they use whenever they jump into barrels baring their likenesses.
These particular items also appear in the Donkey Kong game, DK-King of Swing.