120 Million Crabs Take to the Streets on Christmas Island

Crabs swarm the streets in droves on their yearly migration to the sea. Photos via Christmas Island Tourism Association / BBC

Just as this time of year is heavy traffic season for humans, there's plenty of congestion in the crab world as well. Every year around January on Christmas Island, over 100 million audacious young crabs make their way from spawning-grounds inland in a mass migration towards the sea--clogging up the island's roads on the way. As a result, rangers on island close lanes to cars to avoid having any crushed crustaceans. But despite the large numbers of crabs taking to the streets, there have been no instances of violence--though random pinchings so often go unreported.In fact, the estimated 120 million red crabs don't seem to bother the island's 1,200 inhabitants too much. "It is difficult to see crabs in the houses," one local resident told BBC Brasil. Still, rangers are doing their best to keep the little crabs on course as they make their way to the sea--even building plastic bridges to help them overcome difficult obstacles and putting up little fences to help guide them along.

Rangers built special bridges to help the crabs along in their journey.

Christmas Island, 370 kilometers south of Indonesia, is an Australian territory. It is often referred to as the "Galapagos of the Indian Ocean" for its diversity of plant and animal life. The island, two-thirds of which is national park, is home to 14 different species of crab--including the coconut crab, the largest invertebrate in the world. According the National Park of Christmas Island, nearly 1.5 thousand visitors arrive each year to enjoy watching the island's unique wildlife.

Photo via J Jaycock

The efforts shown in accommodating the yearly migration of over a 100 million crabs on Christmas Island by rangers and residents is commendable--as is the ever-peaceful march of the crabs who have them so severely outnumbered.

More on Crabs of the World
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Run for Your Lives: The Crabs Are Coming

Tags: Animals | Australia | Biodiversity | Tourism

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