– O’ahu’s south shores invaded by mysterious creature (KHON2, July 14, 2012):
The south shore of O’ahu is being invaded by something strange from sea, that even has sand crabs running for cover.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen this, I’ve never seen it before,” says beach goer Bruce Kuwana.
“It’s really weird, it looks like you want to eat it like a little berry,” says beach goer Sonya Lake.
“There are probably millions I’d say,” says beach goer Scott Paddock.
If you look closely the entire shoreline is dotted with tiny, purple creatures all curled up.
“Looks like it has about it 6 legs on each side,” says Lake. “Yeah it’s like an avatar crab.”
“When something washes up like this you don’t know what to expect, maybe Tsunami stuff,” says Kuwana.
It’s something many have never seen before. And no one we found knew what they were.
“I definitely want to know where they came from and what they are all about,” says Paddock.
Even the biologists at the Waikiki Aquarium are scratching their heads. They’ve been getting reports of the pea-sized crabs from Kahala to Ala Moana, all this week.
“The lifeguard called and asked what these things were because she had reports of surfers were actually have these things crawl up on their boards and onto them,” says Norton Chan, Waikiki Aquarium Biologist.
He can’t find a specific name for the animal – all he knows is they are some type of crab still in the larvae stage.
“What you are seeing is a swimming stage probably a few more molts before they settle into their actual crab stage itself,” says Chan.
Likely the ones we spotted on the sand were dead or will be soon. He estimates there could have been millions that came up onto our beaches in the past few days.
“I don’t think it’s that common but ever so often when conditions are right these animals really start coming in,” says Chan.
Waikiki Aquarium officials are saving some, hoping to keep them alive long enough to see how they grow.
“There’s a lot of things we don’t know about the ocean so any opportunity like this is a great learning experience,” says Chan.
At this point it’s still unknown where these crabs came from, how big they’ll get and what they eat.