Millions of red crabs take over island on terrifying march to breed in ocean

Millions of red crabs have shut down traffic on Christmas Island as the crustaceans moved out of jungles to breed in the sea.

The migration, which happens once a year, is now a regular occurence to residents in the area but the breathtaking footage has left viewers stunned.

In one TikTok video, the so-called "crab season" sees hundreds of red crabs on the side road of a quiet driveway.

The man pans his camera further as he finds more staying in the middle of the road.

Another clip shows the red creatures taking over a bridge and cleverly using it as a crossing.

This way they can avoid getting crushed by the cars driving past at high speed. The red crabs turn the side road to a "sea of red' as they slowly make their way to the nearest water.

Parks Australia said the migration usually starts in October and November as the species "leave their homes at the same time and start marching towards the ocean to mate and spawn".

Male crabs lead the migration and are joined by females along the way.

As they make their arduous journey from the plateau, they will take a dip in the sea to replenish moisture before they start to mate.

When it's completed, the male crabs will head back "home' while the female crabs stay in the burrows to produce eggs.

"Each female crab can produce up to 100,000 eggs, which she holds in a brood pouch," the park website explained.

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"When the moon reaches its last quarter, the egg-laden crabs leave their burrows and amass on the shoreline, packing into shady spots above the waterline. In some areas you might see up to 100 crabs per square metre of beach or rock.

When the high tide starts to turn before dawn, the crabs move into the sea and release their eggs before returning to the forest."

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