Starling Travel

November 5, 2007

The Red Crabs of Christmas Island

Filed under: Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 2:56 pm

Between Indonesia and Australia is a tiny island. When Captain William Mynors of the British East India Company landed his ship on 25th December 1643, he named the island after the appropriate holiday and Christmas Island was christened.

Right now, its most endearing feature is the yearly migration of the red crabs. They are forest dwellers, but once a year in October, they return to the ocean for mating. They cover every square inch of land from the rain forest to the beach, including homes, roads and even golf courses. This video treats them like they are “scary,” but it shows the extent of the migration.

The locals take it in stride:

On the golf course, which is on the migrating route, during the migration, they have a special rule that means the animals… the crabs belong to the game. Which means if a crab pushes a ball into the hole, it’s in.

Of course, with all that mating, comes the progeny twenty-three days later, which means the land is red with the baby crabs returning to the forest after their initial water-bound existence.

Which time is it better to visit Christmas Island, the adult migration or the baby crab migration? Unfortunately, the Christmas Island Tourism Board doesn’t give us the answer.

Sadly, a visit to Christmas Island is not cheap. The flight from Perth to Christmas Island is expensive enough to put this frugal traveler off the visit, but something in me wants to see the migration. Considering the threat from human ineptness and animal/insect predators, this might be the only time I can ever see something this dramatic.

Via: Damn Interesting ยป The Crabs of Christmas

For more videos on Christmas Island from TravelOz:

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