In pictures: red crab baby boom on Christmas Island

By Australian Geographic 19 January 2022
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Christmas Island red crab babies have made their way back to the island in record numbers.

At the end of last year, adult Christmas Island red crabs made their gruelling annual trek from the forest to the sea to spawn. Now, their babies are making their way back to the forest, and in record numbers.

Photographer Chris Bray, who also owns the Swell Lodge, was anticipating the return of the red crab babies, but didn’t expect to see such large numbers.

“Last year not a single baby was found,” Chris says. “This year I was going out each morning looking, and even free diving down off the drop offs and along the coast, day and night trying to spot them returning.

“Then a friend who was out snorkelling one night looking for crayfish told me he suddenly found himself swimming through clouds of baby crabs.

“The next day they started showing up all around the island and after a few days with more and more piling up on the shores and cliffs, it became clear this was no normal baby crab return, but an absolute bumper year!”

See the photos above.