50 million crabs block roads as they migrate to the ocean to breed

Annually, an estimated 50 million crabs make their way from the forest after rainfall in October or November and head to the ocean to mate.

50 million crabs block roads as they migrate to the ocean to breed
© Getty Images
50 million crabs block roads as they migrate to the ocean to breed

A thick swarm of red crabs cause road blocks as they migrate from the jungle to the coast on an island off Western Australia to mate. Incredible footage shows the bright-red creatures invading townships in what is thought to be one of the greatest animal migration events in on earth.

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Dark Side

Each year, more than 50 million cannibalistic crabs move from the forest after October and November’s rainfalls to the oceans on Christmas Island to mate.

They generally feed on leaves, fruits, flowers and seeds. However, they have a dark side to them that makes adult crabs eat their younglings as part of their diet.

They pass through residential and tourist hotspots on their migration journey throughout the spring and summer months.

Photos and video shared by Parks Australia, which looks after the country’s green spaces, show hundreds of thousands of crabs scurrying across roads and specially-constructed bridges.

A spokesperson for Parks Australia, said:

With red crab migration in full swing on Christmas Island, the crabs are turning up everywhere, including at the door of an office block. Our staff have been out managing traffic, raking crabs off roads, and providing updates to the community on road closures.
The annual migration event attracts tourists from all over. Getty Images

Spectacular Annual Event

Residents of Drumsite - a settlement in the north-east - could not leave their homes on Sunday as the critters took over the roads in the community. But, not everyone feels trapped by the crabby takeover.

National Park acting manager Bianca Priest said the amazing annual event on Christmas Island, popular with travellers, has become an attraction. She said:

World-renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough considered filming the spectacle as one of his 10 greatest TV moments. Over the years visitors have travelled from every corner of the world to witness this wildlife phenomenon.

A lot of preparation goes into making the spectacular event safe for the creepy crawlers and visitors alike. Visitors are always asked to drive and park their cars carefully.

After mating, they can produce as many as a hundred thousand eggs in a single season.

The longest animal was discovered near Australia The longest animal was discovered near Australia