Tuna crabs create a red invasion at San Diego beaches - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tuna crabs create a red invasion at San Diego beaches

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It is being called the tiny red invasion, as thousands of little crabs have reportedly been washing ashore in Pacific Beach.

Thousands of red crabs also called tuna crabs have been washing ashore on Pacific Beach since Sunday.

Surfers said they look like squid in the water, but when they land on the surfboards they look like a tiny lobster.

"They can swim up to the surface and feed on the plankton and then they can drop like a parachute and collect food as they go down," said Fernando.

Birch Aquarium has them on display. They have been receiving phone calls and emails about the recent sightings. 

"Every now and then when the water warms up and the winds and the currents are just right we get them washingup on shore," said Fernando.

Some believe it's El Nino that is bringing the red crabs who are known to live off of Baja California.

The last time CBS News 8 featured a red crab story was back in 2002, and before that was in 1997, preceding the last El Nino.

"It's a great opportunity to get a close up view of what animals are like because they are out in open ocean and you don't get to see them all the time," Fernando.

Beach goers have also come into contact with sail jellyfish, which are also rare because they often live in warmer waters.

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