July 17, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Science And Technology

Christmas Island: Red Crab Migration

The next destination of our trip Around the world in 50 experiments is Christmas Island.

Christmas Island is an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, about 2,600 kilometres northwest of Perth. It is a small island, just 135 square kilometres in size, and is home to about 2,000 people. Most of the inhabitants live on the northern tip of the island.

Christmas Island was named after Captain William Mynor, who arrived on the island on Christmas Day 1643.

Political map of Christmas Island

Christmas Island is home to many incredible species of wildlife, including birds, reptiles and marine life.

Visitors love Christmas Island for its national parks, biodiversity and stunning beauty.

Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island

Scientific activities on Christmas Island

Red crab migration

Red crabs are unique to Christmas Island – more than 120 million of them live in the rainforests for most of the year.

Red crab on Christmas Island

Between October and December each year, 40 to 50 million red crabs make the perilous journey from the forest to the ocean to mate and lay eggs.

When the crabs arrive on the beach, the males dig burrows, where the females join them to mate. After mating, the females stay in the burrow and the males return home. Each female crab lays around 100,000 eggs!

When the moon reaches its last quarter, the crabs enter the sea at high tide and release their eggs.

Scientific activities on Christmas Island

STEM Challenge on Red Crab Migration

As the crabs migrate, one of the main dangers is the roads. Special bridges have been built over some major roads to provide a safe route for the crabs.

Use the challenge sheet below to design a bridge or tunnel to help the red crabs survive the dangerous journey.

More activity ideas

Read more about Red crabs and their annual migration.

Don't forget to download your passport and choose your next destination. adventure around the world.

Christmas Island red crab

Fun facts about Christmas Island

Christmas Island is in the Indian Ocean.

Many languages ​​are spoken on the island, including English, Chinese and Malay.

Christmas Island was named on Christmas Day 1643, but people did not settle there until the late 19th century.

Approximately two-thirds of the island is a national park.

The island has a long coastline, but much of it is inaccessible.

Last updated on November 21, 2023 by Emma Vanstone

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