Hundreds of thousands of red crabs cover California beaches

Tuna crabs wash up on popular beaches in Orange County due to El Nino

Red Crabs Continue To Wash Up On O.C. Beaches

Hundreds of thousands of red crabs have washed up on Southern California's beaches.

The bright red crabs, which are between one and three inches long and resemble crawfish, usually live off the Baja Peninsula in Mexico but have been pushed northward in recent years due to the El Nino weather pattern.

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Lifeguard battalion Chief Mike Halphide told the Los Angeles Times that he could look out of the window near Newport Pier at Newport Beach and see hundreds of the tiny creatures that were mostly dead.

"We've got just a slew of red crabs at the high-tide line," he said.

Katie Glover was visiting Huntington Beach and told the OC Register she got pinched by one of the crabs.

"It was on my foot," she told the publication. "We were walking, and my little Yorkie ran past it and cried. I think he got pinched by one first."

Experts have advised people not to eat them as they may be covered in toxins.

Surfers John Layman and Wayne Sterner said there were so many crabs at Newport Beach that they could hear their claws against the bottom of their boards.

"When you take off on a wave, you could hear them clicking on the bottom of your board," Layman told the OC Register. "They were all over the place. They swim backwards, they look really funny when they swim."

At Laguna Beach where many have washed up, the crabs cannot be taken as it is within the Marine Life Protected Act.

"Where they lie is where they must stay," Marine Safety Lt. Kai Bond said. "We have to let Mother Nature take them away."

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