Mysterious Phenomenon Blamed As Thousands Of Tuna Crabs Wash Up On San Diego Beaches

In a mysterious phenomenon, thousands of orange- and red-colored tuna crabs are washing ashore on the beaches of San Diego, California. According to UT San Diego, these tuna crabs have been spotted from Sunset Cliffs to Ocean Beach to Scripps Pier. Reports have also confirmed the presence of these tuna crabs on Santa Catalina Island, according to an ABC News report. While tuna crabs have been spotted on the island since last year, this is the first time that they have washed up on San Diego’s beaches in such large numbers. Meanwhile, there are reports about the possibility that the phenomenon could be caused by a mysterious blob of warm water spotted off the West Coast and Mexico, in the Pacific Ocean.

Tuna Crabs are not usually found off the San Diego coast, but are often found off the Baja California coast down south. It is now thought that the mysterious blob of warm water could have caused them to end up near the San Diego coast. Earlier this year, there were similar reports about tuna crabs washing up near Point Loma to Newport Beach. According to eyewitnesses, the crabs were noticed in unusually large numbers on Thursday.

According to Linsey Sala, a scientist from UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution Of Oceanography, the phenomenon is usually seen when tuna crabs encounter warmer waters.

“We usually see these crabs in large numbers when there is an intrusion of warm water” Linsey told local newspapers

Meanwhile, other scientists are investigating the mysterious blob of warm water that has developed in the Pacific Ocean that is thought to be the cause behind the washing up of tuna crabs in San Diego. The same blob of warm water has been blamed for pushing up temperatures in San Diego to unusually high levels during winter and spring. Researchers are still unsure if the blob is related to the El Nino phenomenon that seems to be developing over the Pacific Ocean.

Linsey Sala, when asked about the phenomenon, went on to add,

“The crabs are a warm water indicator, but we don’t know whether they are exclusively in the area from the blob, El Nino, or other favorable oceanographic conditions.”

The last time tuna crabs and other crustaceans washed ashore the beaches of San Diego was in 2002. Incidentally, 2002 also happened to be a year affected by the El Nino phenomenon.

Meanwhile, people who came across the scene of thousands of tuna crabs washing ashore wasted no time and clicked several photographs to document the phenomenon. The report of tuna crabs washing ashore in San Diego comes barely months after the Inquisitr reported about sea lion pups washing up on shores of Southern California.

[Image Via UT San Diego]