See the thousands of red crabs washed up on a California beach

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Thousands of tiny red crabs are carpeting beaches in Orange County and creating an amazing spectacle for swimmers and surfers.

Anne Amundson Hoover | Facebook

Lifeguards estimate that hundreds of thousands of the tiny crustaceans washed up on the sands of Newport Beach on Friday.

Others were spotted in Laguna Beach.

Tuna crabs washed up onto the beach at Shaw's Cove in Laguna Beach, California
(Kevin Sullivan/The Orange County Register/AP)

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 Orange County Register reports.

Tuna crabs washed up onto the beach at Shaw's Cove in Laguna Beach, California
(Kevin Sullivan/The Orange County Register/AP)

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.