WATCH Millions of Cannibal Crabs Take Over an Island — RT World News


The annual migration of red crabs has brought traffic to a halt on an Australian island. Aside from the epic journey, the species is also notorious for eating its own young.

Tens of millions of crustaceans swarm on Canberra-administered Christmas Island, located nearly a thousand miles northwest of the Australian mainland. Parks Australia, a government agency responsible for conservation on the island, has deployed its staff to direct traffic, remove crabs from roads and advise local residents on road closures. The authorities are well prepared for the epic crab march that repeats itself every year, usually in October and November. There are even special bridges and tunnels built over and under busy roads to minimize the number of crabs crushed by cars. The sight of millions of these creatures making their perilous trek has become one of Christmas Island’s top tourist attractions.

The exact timing of the red crabs’ journey from forest to ocean is determined by rainfall and moon phases. The march is led by male crabs, which are later joined by females. Upon reaching the ocean, they mate and spawn, with each female producing as many as 100,000 eggs. However, most young crabs never return to the forest, as they are eventually eaten by fish and whale sharks for whom this is a real feast. To make matters worse, the crab larvae that do make it to the beach are often devoured by returning adult crabs of the same species, hence one of their names: the cannibal crab.

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