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Countless Tiny Red Crabs Invade California Beaches

Lifeguards estimate hundreds of thousands are washing up
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 15, 2016 9:54 AM CDT
Scores of Tiny Red Crabs Invade California Beaches
Delila Almaraz, 19, of Covina, picks up a tuna crab while enjoying the beach at Shaw's Cove on Friday, May 13, 2016 in Laguna Beach, Calif.   (KEVIN SULLIVAN)

(Newser) – Thousands of tiny red crabs are carpeting beaches in Orange County and creating an amazing spectacle for swimmers and surfers, the AP reports. Lifeguards estimate that hundreds of thousands of the tiny crustaceans washed up Friday on beaches in Newport Beach. Others were spotted in Laguna Beach. The Orange County Register reports that pelagic red crabs are usually found off Baja California, but currents that are part of the El Nino weather pattern are sweeping them north. The 1- to 3-inch-long crabs have washed up for several years along the Orange County coastline. Before that, they hadn't been seen in the area for decades. (Read more California stories.)

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