Red Crabs Swarm Island: Christmas Island Crab Migration Dubbed One Of The World's 'Most Spectacular'

03/25/2013 05:20 pm ET | Updated Mar 26, 2013

Dubbed one of the planet's most breathtaking migrations, the Christmas Island red crab exodus is a natural phenomenon that continues to astonish.

Making it onto CNN Travel's recent list of the "10 most spectacular wildlife migrations," the island's annual red crab migration has triggered quite a buzz on the Internet this week as curious netizens search for information about the beautiful crustaceans and their yearly journey toward the sea.

Described as a feast for the senses for photographers, nature lovers and travel enthusiasts alike, the Christmas Island migration involves the movement of millions of vividly colored crabs as they leave their in-land homes to breed and release eggs into the sea.

"This synchronized migration resembles a crimson-colored river undulating across the island and can last up to 18 days," CNN writes.

According to the island's website, the migration usually begins at the start of the wet season in October or November. However, unfavorable weather conditions can lead to a delay in the crab exodus.

As this Vimeo video created by Parks Australia shows, the red crab migration is a mammoth event for residents of Christmas Island. Every year, staff of the federal park agency make great efforts to prepare for the crustaceans' journey, setting up an elaborate network of fences and other infrastructure to ensure the animals reach their destination without encountering any harm. (Watch the video below.)

Still, despite the efforts of park staff and concerned residents alike, an increasing number of red crabs are dying during their annual migration, according to the Christmas Island website.

"As well as there being a greater risk of crabs dehydrating when forced to cross areas cleared of forest cover, thousands of adults and young are crushed by vehicles while crossing roads. Some have to negotiate up to three or four such hazards on their descent and ascent each year," the website writes. "Conservation measures have been implemented to help reduce this high death toll."

Visit Christmas Island's website to learn more about the red crabs and their yearly migration.

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