Thousands of bright red crabs are taking over San Diego’s coastline, from Ocean Beach the the way to La Jolla.
For the past couple of weeks the small red tuna crabs have been washing up along the southern California shoreline, according to reports from local media.
The beach invader showing up en mass are likely the result of warm water carrying the crustaceans from their normal home along the west coast of Baja California and the Gulf of California, says Linsey Sala, a scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
“Typically such strandings of these species in large numbers are due to warm water intrusions,” said Sala.
Pleuroncodes planipes, the proper name of the species, is subject to such currents because of its unique live cycle. It can live its entire life, from larvae to adulthood, in the water column from surface to seafloor, said Sala. This means it can easily be carried along by winds, tides, and currents.
The red-shelled visitors have been flooding social media, as locals marvel at the thousands, if not millions, of crabs.
There isn’t much local can do, however, as experts warn against eating the creatures because they likely contain unknown toxins.Stay Connected