Workaholic Crabs

The ever running, ever scared, ever cautious crabs.
We see crabs running helter skelter on any sea beach.
Those tiny animals that run in an angled direction at astounding pace, and just vanish inside tiny holes in sand with utmost precision.
Ever wondered, what do crabs keep themselves so busy with?
Building homes!!
All the time they are busy building homes in the sand.
Now, that is tough life.

Beach dwelling crabs live in the zones between high tide and low tide water levels.
Which means, every wave is a potential threat to their homes. Not necessarily destroying them, but disturbing it for sure.

In comes the water, in comes the sand, clogging at places, making pockets at others.

Imagine if this happened to our homes!

But they are crabs, they are workaholic.

Tiny crab digging hole

Remember those beautiful patterns of tiny sand balls on beaches? The amazing patterns with one hole somewhere in between?
These are crab holes.

Crabs work round the clock to keep digging, taking out the sand clutched in their claws.
And then they throw that sand with amazing speed long way away from the entrance of the hole.

Crab holes on beach
Crab hole sand patterns

It is interesting to observe crabs doing this.
They start slow. Make a first rather irregular pit in the sand. And then they start digging deeper.

The hard back makes sure that enough pressure is created from within, so the roof does not come down. Slowly and steadily they work their way deeper.
Every time loose sand accumulated in the tunnel, they would roll it with their claws and legs and then come out.

They will peep outside and wait to see if there is any danger for them.
Once they are convinced about their safety, they will quickly come out and throw the sand balls with great power, efficiency and accuracy and then quickly disappear into the hole for the next lot!

Starting a new hole

What an amazingly hectic life!
Every small grain of sand is picked up with such precision with the claws, they almost remind me of the great art of eating with hashi (chop-sticks).

Days after days, waves after waves, crabs stay steadfast on their task.
Never tiring, never giving up.
Never settling for anything that is not perfect.

The workaholic crabs!

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Milind Medhekar
Milind Medhekar

Hi Shridhar,
Great story and great photos to go with!! Well done!