Routine Dive Reveals an Amazing Crab Discovery

Despite struggling with cancer, PT Hirschfield hasn’t given up on her passion for diving. In 2015, she came across an unusual sight off the coast of Melbourne, Australia: 1,000 spider crabs piled into a large pyramid. For Hirschfield, an experienced underwater diver who has filmed spider crab migration before, this large moving pile of crabs was really exciting. She speculates that it might have been a mating pyramid and that each crab was struggling to stay on top to keep from losing limbs while they molt.

Many species of crabs migrate in large numbers all over the world. Off the coast of Panama, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute was on an expedition at the Hannibal Bank seamount off the Panama coast. They were finishing up their work when they noticed clouds of mud were coming up from the bottom. On closer inspection, they were able to see thousands of crabs were making their way across the sea floor. Watch the video about their amazing find to learn more about the importance of seamounts.

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