10 Amazing Natural Phenomena

10. Red Crab Migration

Once a year something incredible happens on Christmas Island. Around 50 million red crabs are estimated to live on Christmas Island located in the Indian Ocean off the northwestern coast of Australia. Between October and December at the beginning of the wet season, these animals start an incredible journey across the island, leaving their homes in the inland to go to the seaside and lay their eggs.

The migration begins when adult crabs leave their burrows in the dense jungle and walk to the beach dipping in the ocean to replenish body salts. Male crabs dig burrows in the sand which they defend from other crabs while they try to mate with other females and then migrate back home while the females stay with their eggs. After two to three weeks the female crabs put their eggs into the ocean and start their own return journey, while the eggs hatch into the water as larvae. About four weeks later turn beaches red before slowly progressing across the island crossing roads and meandering around houses until they link with the adults. Four years later the crabs are ready to make their own migration to the beach to mate and begin the life cycle all over again. All phases of the migration are a popular tourist attraction with visitors timing their travel to coincide with it to see the unique sight.


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