We had just concluded a lovely evening with good friends here in Virginia Beach, fellow blogger Susan Okaty and her husband, George. It was dark, but my wife and I decided to take a romantic walk on the beach. There was a bright half-moon and a beautiful zephyr breeze blowing. We gathered up the dog, Queenie, and over we went. I took a flashlight so we wouldn’t accidentally step on any sharp shells, but with the moonlight it was hardly necessary.
The amorous stroll was going just fine until she got crabby. No, not my sweet wife, heaven forbid. It was Queenie. Suddenly she started running around in all directions. I turned on the flashlight to check it out. Seems she was chasing ghosts. Ghost crabs! Also known as sand crabs, these little critters come our mainly at night to forage for food. The problem was, we didn’t know if our toes were on the menu or not. They were all over, posturing in that intimidating position that makes them seem far more formidable than their size would warrant. They are called ghost crabs because they are most often seen out of their burrows at night, although a good eye can catch them peering out of their burrows in the daytime. Also named because of their beige color which helps them blend into the sand, reminiscent of a true ghost.
Now, if you’ve never seen a ghost crab move, that’s the freaky part. They can motor around sideways and backwards with blinding speed. Just watch this. It’s creepy enough watching them in daylight, but if you’re out amongst them at night, your imagination gets the best of you. You speculate that every little touch you feel is an all-out crab attack, even if it’s just a grain of sand blowing against your foot. We’ll be wearing shoes at night from now on.
That gave me the heebie-jeebies just reading it! Crabs and spiders move so freakishly!
Just noticed this comment Jerri. Sorry to be so late.
You can see why we freaked out being barefoot in the dark.
Wow, Al! You have friends? 😉
They’re new, Lorna, wait til they get to know me.
Okay, that explains it. I was totally confused for a while! Just kidding, pal. I’d love to be your neighbor. Scrappy keeps asking me about Gracie…
Okay, got it. Wear boots for my next romantic stroll on the beach. Actually I had a crayfish pinch a toe on a beach walk. Thought I’d shoot to the moon. I probably would’ve orbited it a couple of time if it had been a ghost crab. Fun post.
“That’s one small step for woman, one giant leap for Barb!”
Nothing like getting your toes pinched to add to the amour of the evening. I think I’d rather sit on the deck and observe all that nature through a telephoto lens.
Look at it as a twofer, Peg. A nice walk on the beach while you’re getting your toenails clipped.
Since you know how I squeal from a spider web, you can only imagine the squealing that would be going on on that beach!
You can be sure there was some squealing going on. Some of it from me.
Love the video! It reminds me of the old Smothers Brothers’ song, “Crabs Walk Sideways and Lobsters Walk Straight.” Next time we come, if I have two good feet, I want to being my camera and see if I can see these crabs for myself.
It’s a deal. Make sure it has infrared.
Infrared? It has a night setting. Does that count?
David and I used to see these crabs on the beach at Figure 8 Island in NC. There are many strange things in this world. I had forgotten the ghost crabs until you mentioned it. Dianne
It’s easy to see where Hollywood gets their ideas for how to design monsters for their horror movies. Most of their models live among us. A majority of them in the ocean.
Thank goodness you’re not giving up on romantic night beach strolling.
Or, don’t let the ghosts spook you.
Not at all. I’ll just have my 12 gauge shotgun with me from now on.
Ouch. Freaky stuff. 🙂
Not quite as freaky as the crab migration near the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/cuba-wild-island-of-the-caribbean/cuban-crab-invasion/1247/