World Amazing Stuff: Crabs Migration in Australia

Crabs Migration in Australia

Every year in late spring, Australia’s Christmas Island becomes covered in crabs when more than 40 million red crustaceans start their annual migration to the sea, covering the landscape in a mass of crimson claws.

The migration starts with the first heavy rains in October, November or December. During this time there’s enough moisture in the air for the large crustaceans. Five days journey from their homes in wet inland forests to the Indian Ocean. With so many of the creatures on the move, Australian’s works before and during the migration to protect the crustaceans by closing roads, building fences and constructing underground tunnels. Drivers are encouraged to stop for the crabs.

Upon reaching the sand, the male crabs dig burrows and fight each other for ownership of the shelters. When the female crabs arrive (usually five to seven days after the first males), they begin to mate, and the females stay in their beachside burrows until the last quarter of the lunar cycle. The females always wait for the first day of the last quarter regardless of when they started the migration to spawn and release their eggs into the sea.