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Thousands of crabs wash up in California

Posted on Friday, 19 June, 2015 | Comment icon 13 comments

Hundreds of thousands of crabs were washed up on beaches. Image Credit: CC 1.0 Pomax
Vast quantities of small red crabs have been washing up along the west coast of the United States.
Beachgoers were left perplexed this month as miles of shoreline between San Diego and Orange County became covered in a carpet of crabs that turned the sand an unsettling shade of red.

Once news of the phenomenon hit social media people began turning up in their droves to take pictures while scientists attempted to work out what had brought so many of the crabs to the shore.
"This is definitely a warm-water indicator," said Linsey Sala of the University of California. "Whether it's directly related to El Nino or other oceanographic conditions is not certain."

Unlike most crabs the red tuna crab tends to spend most of its time swimming in the open water rather than staying close to the bottom which makes it vulnerable to strong tides.

"They are mostly grazers in the upper 200 meters of the ocean," said Sala. "Because they can swim in the water column, they can be transported by strong currents."

Source: ITV News | Comments (13)

Tags: Crabs, California

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by KariW on 20 June, 2015, 1:25
They are trying to escape a Fukushima radiation plume, I'm sure. That was actually the first thing that came to my mind, but who knows??
Comment icon #5 Posted by qxcontinuum on 20 June, 2015, 5:18
we're doomed. we sold our kids and grandchildren for money
Comment icon #6 Posted by Astra- on 20 June, 2015, 9:25
we're doomed. we sold our kids and grandchildren for money You've lost me on that one qx.....what do beached crabs have to do with selling the kids and grandkids ?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Astra- on 20 June, 2015, 9:52
It might have something to do with ocean temperatures changing. Or it may be some kind of natural cycle of the crustaceans. However, what I did find rather disturbing - were the people who took home bucket loads of these crabs to eat ? What if these crabs became sick from some kind of toxic element in the waters ? Why on earth would anyone pick up any kind of sick and dying sea creature off the beach to eat
Comment icon #8 Posted by Calibeliever on 20 June, 2015, 14:46
In related news algae blooms have shut down West Coast fisheries. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-toxic-algae-bloom-shuts-down-west-coast-fisheries-20150618-story.html
Comment icon #9 Posted by SD455GTO on 20 June, 2015, 19:54
(useless comment by me) Not like it matters at all, but they look more like a prawn or something of the Lobster family...just saying...ANYWAY, carry on. An afterthought, it happens to cetaceans, cuttlefish etc... (neither of which are "slow" animals) perhaps they just took a wrong turn at Albuquerque? It could happen.
Comment icon #10 Posted by cerberusxp on 20 June, 2015, 21:28
The answer to this is simple you peed in the river. No seriously though could that volcano that is erupting 100 or so miles off the Oregon coast have anything to do with it? I'll bet that it has something to do with the faults and escaping gases.
Comment icon #11 Posted by YoshiYoshi on 21 June, 2015, 15:29
In related news algae blooms have shut down West Coast fisheries. http://www.latimes.c...0618-story.html Even though you have no proof of your claim this is common knowledge,liek zomgz intrawebz xD
Comment icon #12 Posted by Vance665 on 22 June, 2015, 7:12
Damn global cooling. I mean man made climate change. Nothing like this ever happened before SUVs.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Calibeliever on 22 June, 2015, 16:02
Even though you have no proof of your claim this is common knowledge,liek zomgz intrawebz xD Proof of what claim? I didn't make any claim, I simply posted an article related to conditions in the Pacific as part of this discussion. But I suspect you're just trying to bait an argument by being rude and you don't really have anything to say on the topic.

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