Every year, millions of crabs scuttle across Australia’s Christmas Island. They do so as part of their annual migration which can sometimes last up to 18 days. This year, the rarely-witnessed migration will be documented, thanks to Google and Alasdair Grigg from Parks Australia.
As Mashable reports, Christmas Island is located just south of Indonesia. Around 40 to 50 million crabs make the journey from the forest to the coast around October or November. Their mission is to breed and release their eggs to sea.
Because of the island’s location, and because fences have been erected to ensure the crabs get to shore safely, the event has only been witnessed by a few. That will change this year.
Using the Street View Trekker 360, Grigg will document the millions of crabs on their annual migration. Photos of the red crustaceans will then be released, most likely in early 2018.
Said Grigg in a statement, “Christmas Island is not on the radar of most travellers… 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.”
When the crabs aren’t migrating, usually, they burrow in the damp forest floor. This preserves their body moisture and protects them from the harsh equatorial sun, reports Inhabitat. Only when the conditions are right do the millions of crabs emerge from their dens and scuttle to the ocean.
This year, the migration is expected to finish by December 13. Keep an eye out for the Street View imagery, as the photographs are guaranteed to be stunning.