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Natural World

50 million crabs cause chaos on Australia's Christmas Island

November 20, 2021 | Comment icon 4 comments

The crabs take over the whole island once a year. Image Credit: YouTube / BBC Earth
The annual 'biblical' migration of bright red crabs on Christmas Island is a spectacle like no other on Earth.
The streets, paths, forest floors and beaches of this idyllic island have been running red this week thanks to the annual migration of millions upon millions of red crabs which travel from the island's jungles to its beaches - a journey of several miles - where they will look for a mate.

Afterwards, the males will return to the jungle while the females remain on the beaches in burrows to lay their eggs. They will then emerge and release the eggs into the sea.

This particular species of crab, known as the Christmas Island red crab, is found nowhere else on Earth, making their annual migration a particularly unique spectacle.

The island's human inhabitants are well used to it by now and have even built infrastructure to help the crabs on their journey, such as special crossings to help them traverse busy roads.
In some areas, the huge wave of crabs is so extreme that residents are unable to leave their homes at all for a short time - a period that some have come to refer to as 'crab lockdown'.

Others simply do their best to stay out of the crabs' way and not to accidentally stand on any of them.

Local radio stations will often broadcast bulletins informing residents about the current status of the migration and forecasting when it will start and end.

Fortunately the crabs themselves are not interested in humans and do not represent a threat.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (4)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats 18 days ago
“Chaos” … yes, they’ve never done this before. It’s totally out of the ordinary.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Jon the frog 17 days ago
THe most incredible is that the larvae come back to the same island and the crab are not found elsewhere beside cocos island. They can be swept away quite easily being parts of plancton for a couple of weeks. Strange stuff.
Comment icon #3 Posted by DanL 15 days ago
I wonder if they are good to eat? I'm visualizing a HUGE Cajun crab gumbo.
Comment icon #4 Posted by psyche101 15 days ago
They are pretty small.

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