45 million crabs march on Australian island

Millions of red crabs are on the move for their once-a-year migration to breed on Christmas Island

Image Christmas Island Tourism Association

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- 45 million red crabs are on the move, migrating across Christmas Island to spawn in the water. Each year millions of female red crabs perform the ritual week long journey to reach the shore of the sea and release their eggs. 

Christmas island is an Australian territory just underneath Indonesia and surrounded by the Indian Ocean. The island is home to approximately 2000 people and 14 different species of the red land crabs who are only found on Christmas Island.

Every year about 45 million crabs migrate across the island to lay eggs in the water which makes for quite a sight. Visitors from around the world travel to the Christmas island to catch a glimpse of this phenomenon. 

This week long migration process isn't easy for the crabs due to the heat and distance, as they prefer to hide in the shade or wet soil which can only be found in the forest. 

The local people of the island try to help the crabs as much as possible by building bridges and blocking roads used by the crabs for migration. 

It is not allowed to eat red crabs on the island and many locals carry rakes in their car to clear a safe pathway on the road. 

After the female crabs lay their eggs, they go back to their forest homes until next year when the same ritual is repeated. 

Once the baby crabs are born, they must make a nine-day journey back to their parents on the island after surviving difficult ocean conditions and deadly predators like the yellow crazy ant. 

Google, the internet giant, and Parks Australia, part of the Australian government environment protection unit are working together to provide real-time updates on the crabs' migration on Google Maps Street View, where it will be available to view from early 2018. 

The footage will be captured by Parks Australia's Alasdair Grigg.

"Christmas Island is not on the radar of most travellers," Grigg said. "We hope people can get a taste of the magnificent nature and the red crab migration through the eyes of the Google Trekker. We also hope they are inspired to appreciate the world-class conservation values of the Island," Grigg stated, as reported by the local media in Australia.