Christmas Island’s Red Crab Invasion | That’s Amazing

Christmas Island’s Red Crab Invasion | That’s Amazing

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(bright music) – [Narrator] During the
annual crab migration, all of Christmas Island is seeing red. Christmas Island, located
in the Pacific Ocean near Australia, is known for
its warm tropical climate. Throughout most of the year, its endemic red crabs can be
found on the rainforest floor. But each year in late October, the adult crabs begin a
spectacular mass migration from the rainforest to the coast to breed and release eggs into the sea. This synchronized breeding
of about 40 million crabs takes over the tiny island. They take their cues
from a unique combination of weather and the movement of the moon. As the rains of the
monsoon wet season return, they begin their journey. The crabs arrive at the coast, where they dig burrows for mating, and then the females release
their eggs into the sea, just as the high tide from
the new moon hits the shore. These crabs are so reliant
on these seasonal cues that if the wet season
doesn’t arrive on time, the crabs will not spawn
until the next lunar month. They make their migrations
without much care for road rules or streets, which results in incredible
and slightly startling waves of red crabs moving across the island.

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