Millions Of Red Crabs: Watch Spectacular Christmas Island Crab Migration [VIDEO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on March 25, 2013 6:19 PM EDT

crabs
Millions of red crabs emerge from their homes in the rain forest every year and swarm Christmas Island, a territory of Australia off the coast of Indonesia, on their way to the ocean. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Millions of red crabs swarm Christmas Island, an Australian territory located in the Indian Ocean with a population of just over 2,000 residents, every year. It is a phenomenon that has captivated residents and visitors alike. CNN calls the migration one of the 10 most spectacular wildlife migrations in the world, along with the wildebeest migration in East Africa, the monarch butterfly migration in California and the arctic caribou migration in North America.

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Endemic to Christmas Island, red crabs are bright red in color and live in the damp undergrowth of the rainforest. They are relatively large, reaching 4.6 inches in size, and  eat mostly leaves, fruits, flowers and seeds. More than 120 million crabs live on the rain forest floor of the island.

Every year, at the beginning of the wet season, the crabs leave the island's center and scuttle to the ocean where they spawn and lay their eggs. The migration can last up to 18 days and looks like streams of red water flowing from the island's center.

Island Explorer Holiday offers trips starting at $1,500 U.S.D.

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