Hundreds of thousands of tiny red crab, scientifically called Pleuroncodes planipes, also known as tuna crab or pelagic red crabs washed up on Laguna Beach and Newport Beach in California last Wednesday. Onlookers and lifeguards looked at all of them with amazement in their eyes. They also washed up on Bolsa Chica beach. Some beach cleaners threw them away into the dumpster, especially the dead ones, while other beach cleaners said they would allow Mother Nature to take care of them.

According to the Orange County Register, these tiny red crabs, although they look like tiny red lobster, are estimated to be about one to three inches long. Although they are normally found off Baja beach, El Nino is making them come to California and wash up on the beaches there.

Pleuroncodes planipes uzun
Photo credit: Wikipedia

As mentioned above, last year, this also happened in June and the beach cleaners shoveled them up and put them in the dumpster. However, the beach cleaner for Newport Beach only cleans up things on the dry sand and these crustacean’s have taken over all of the wet sand. They plan to let Mother Nature do what she will with them by either letting the birds eat them or letting the tide take them back into the water.

Also according to the Orange County Register, there haven’t been any calls at all from any other beaches about these small red water creatures. No one else is seeing them wash up on their beaches.

red crab
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Since Newport Beach plans to let Mother Nature take its course with these tiny crabs, if they die, they leave behind a bad smell.

According to NH Voice, many of the crabs were dead when they washed up but some made it to the beach still alive. Local authorities had even warned beachgoers to not eat the tiny red crabs because they could be filled with poison. People wouldn’t want to eat them anyway because they don’t have much meat to them and they smell really bad when they die.

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