This Is What the Migration of 120 Million Red Crabs Looks Like

by Owen James Burke

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Photo: Gary Tindale via Hungeree

Each year on Christmas Island, red crabs emerge from their jungle burrows by the millions — some say up to 120 million — for the coast, where they’ll mate alongside the shore. The event lasts for weeks, while many roads, trails and beaches are closed off to human traffic to allow for the crimson crustaceans to make their passage. The voyage of the crabs brings in hoards of tourists, who generally find it easier to hoof the island than take the road detours around the 52-square-mile island, Ss not all roads are closed, and depending on which route they may take to the sea, there are always a few unlucky pilgrims that can’t make way in time.


Photo: Gary Tindale/Mercury Press via Daily Mail

There are 14 different species of red crab that take over the island, usually between October and December

A few weeks after the mating ritual is completed, tiny 1-inch crabs hatch and head up the beach and into the jungle to meet their parents, another spectacle in and of itself.

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Photo via Imgarcade

The year-round human population on the island is only around 2,000, and it kind of makes you wonder if some day the crabs might evolve and revolt, or at least seek some form of retribution for their road-killed kin.

Read more at the Daily Mail — OJB

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