The Miracle of Christmas Island à la Google

Christmas Island is an Australian territory comprising an island of the same name. It’s located approximately 960 miles north-west of the Australian mainland. While the island's human population hovers around 2000 residents, the major demographic group occupying the island is the endemic red crab, whose estimated population tallies 43.7 million.

Google Maps Street View

Seeking to re-brand itself, Christmas Island would like to be known as Australia’s Galápagos Islands. With the assistance of Google, the Internet giant is seeking to document the annual migration of these crustaceans in 2017.

Emerging from the shelter of island’s forests, where they spend most of the year, the divining arthropods march from land to sea to mate near coastal waters.  

“These bright red residents wait patiently for a precise alignment of the rains, moon cycle, and tides to commence their journey,” according to the communications and public affairs manager at Google Australia & New Zealand, Camilla Ibrahim.

The images captured are being used to enhance Google’s Street View, a component of the company’s Maps app, which will allow users to virtually experience the migration online.

Breeding Period

The breeding process take at least a week, with male crabs arriving before the females, where they’re responsible for digging up romantic little retreats, of sorts. After copulation, the males are quick to return to the forest, leaving their counterparts to do the hatching.

The breeding period ceases after the majority of the crabs lay their eggs in the sand — a finale that occurred this year on December 13.

Right of Way for Street View

“The volume of red crabs presents unprecedented conditions for the Street View image capture,” Ibrahim, wrote in a blog post. “As crabs crown the roads, boardwalks, and beaches, each step must be taken with care.”

“Fortunately, crabs have right of way on Christmas Island, and Parks Australia has built walls and fencing along roads to direct the crossers to safety,” Ibrahim added. notes that online tourists should keep an eye out for viewing the migration via the app. Google Map Street Views will be collating their collection in early 2018, for Internet viewing.

`Tis the season to be crabby. Fah la la la la, la, la, la, la! So, have yourself a crabby little Christmas!

Primary Sourcle: Google plays major part in rebranding Christmas Island




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