Following days of heavy rain in the town of Bertioga, Sao Paulo, an estimated 1 million crabs were discovered scattered dead along the otherwise pristine, sandy coastline. While the mass animal death has raised alarm amongst vacationing beachgoers, scientists say that the unusual occurrence should be no cause for concern.
According to biologist Mylene Lyra, the multitude of small crustaceans originated from nearby mangroves, thriving in the forested, semi-salinate marsh ecosystem. However, with the recent heavy rains soaking the region, an influx of freshwater upset their preferred conditions.
“This phenomenon happens sometimes on the coast because of heavy rains. The crabs come out of the woodwork, because of the sudden low salinity, and so they look to the ocean for salt water,” says Lyra.
Although they made it to the beach, most of the shade-loving crabs ultimately perished from too much time in the open sun.
Photos: Mariane Rossi