Located on Christmas Island, one of the world’s natural wonders occur every year – The Christmas Island’s Red Crab Migration.
A crackling noise, a chorus of clicking sounds – the Christmas Island Red Crab march has begun.
Of course, if it is just crabs, no one would really want to see them but every year, from November onwards, around some 100 million red crabs will begin their mass migration from their moist natural habitat of their rainforests to the sea to spawn. The sight stops people in their tracks as the entire forest floor and even the roads, and everything else are cloaked in a sea of red with these little crabs scurrying furiously across everything.
For the tiny invertebrates, they are usually lazy creatures that are seemingly so due to the need to conserve their energy for their great march every year. The moment the rainy season begins; they will all rouse themselves from their burrows and begin sprinting on their minute little legs towards the oceans at a surprising speed, considering the size of their legs and themselves.
Known to be one of the greatest animal migrations on Earth, this natural phenomenon on Christmas Island near Perth, Australia, has since attracted hundreds and thousands of people to witness this amazing sight as a band of red moves into the Indian Ocean. Imagine this: the sunlight reflecting off the sea, and a swath of red moving into the ocean – a sight to behold, indeed!
During the peak migration periods, the crabs will also stop at nothing to get to their destinations – whether it is houses, trucks, park benches or people, there is no obstacle that the crabs cannot cross in a bid to obey Mother Nature to create more of themselves as they relentlessly make their way to the shore.
Places like Drumsite, the Flying Fish Cove, Ethel Beach and the Greta Beach on Christmas Island will then become popular places to crab-watch as tourists and islanders alike stop to exit their vehicles while taking note to not step on any migrating crab.
Special ‘pathways’ are also sometimes created for these migrating crabs as the government attempts to aid these creatures to survive. Plastic channels are created for crabs to run along in and roads are closed to facilitate ‘crab-crossing’, this also provides a source of entertainment for those who specially came to see this phenomenon.
An annual show that is a symbol of the distinctiveness of the Indian Ocean territory, the Christmas Island Red Crab Migration is also a great attraction for tourists, naturalists, wildlife photographers, and documentary-makers worldwide.
Many visitors are enthralled by both the crabs and the islanders’ obvious concern and stand for the crabs. An annual occurrence since time age-old for Christmas Island, the Red Crab Migration is sure to continue to enthrall future generations worldwide.
Image from http://www.chillhour.com and http://www.abc.net.au