On Tuesday, millions of red crabs crawled across Christmas Island as part of their annual migratory voyage to the ocean on an island off the coast of Western Australia.
“This year, the migration has been tremendous,” said Brendan Tiernan, Natural Resources Manager for Christmas Island National Park. “The roads have turned into a boiling mass of red crabs. This caused traffic jams on this small island and people had to get out of their cars and get them out of the way. “
Tiernan said that the ecological phenomenon of crabs migrating to the sea to spawn is not found anywhere else in the world on such a scale. “Sometimes we call it the island of red crabs; The island community realizes how important red crabs are to our ecosystem, economy and tourism, ”he said.
After mating, the male crabs go back to the jungle, while the females stay in their burrows for about two weeks to lay their eggs. Each female can produce up to 100,000 eggs, which she lays in the ocean.
“Some people were very scared by the fact that they are surrounded by millions of crawling arthropods, while other people just dive into the water – basically they make a little ‘red angel crab’, they will lie on the ground and let themselves be covered with red crabs Tiernan said.
The Christmas Island red crab is found only on the island and is protected by Australian law.