Outdoors + Nature

Natural Wonders

by Nicola McCormack

Australia: March of the Red Crabs

When the monsoon rains start pouring, in late October and November, an army of tiny red crabs advances from the forests of Christmas Island, an Australian territory closer to Indonesia. Up to 130 million crabs turn the ground scarlet for up to 18 days as they make their five-mile crusade toward the sea, through gardens and houses (if you don't keep your doors shut) and over rail tracks and golf courses. To avoid crab carnage, some roads are closed to vehicles while the march is on; in other spots, specially built bridges carry the crabs over highways. What prompts this sideways migration? The red crabs have just one thing on their tiny minds—getting it on with their fellow crustaceans down on the beach.

Where to stay: The Sanctuary on Christmas Island is a Balinese- and French-style two-bedroom bungalow that sits amid tropical grounds with a large pool (check for nipping claws before you dive in).

Next: Norway's night lights >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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