King Crabs invade Antarctica

The Kamtchatka giant crab, a species of king crab is native to the Bering Sea, north Pacific Ocean, around the Kamchatka Peninsula and neighboring Alaskan waters. (Getty Images)

King crabs – three-feet-wide red monsters that devour everything in their path – have invaded Antarctica. While it sounds a little like a horror movie, it’s actual a large scale global warming problem. According to the New Scientist, three years ago, scientists had predicted that this would happen, but they believed the earth would have warmed to this degree in the next 100 years.

The earth has warmed a little earlier than they predicted. According to Craig Smith, a professor of oceanography at the University of Hawaii, who’s team discovered the relocation, millions of these crabs have begun to crawl around by Antarctica. The crabs were known to inhabit the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand, but now they can be found south of South America. Worse, they’re wiping out local wildlife, and causing large scale destruction where they go, reports the New Scientist.

The crabs live on starfish and sea urchins, and most of these animals are now gone, reports the Huffington Post. A video taken by a remotely operated submersible shows that the crabs have already colonized a basin in the Antarctic Peninsula’s continental shelf. The video footage also shows that the crabs “prod, gash and puncture” the sediment, altering natural processes such as how organic matter is buried.

The implications are terrifying, as Jen Doll from the Village Voice points out: “After millions of years of the crabs not being able to cross the cold water of the continental shelf…now they can.”

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