Orange County Register, Feb 25, 2015 (emphasis added): Tiny crabs still coming in waves off Balboa Island — Thousands… created a rim of red along the shoreline, scattered on the sand along the sleepy seaside of Balboa Island in Newport Beach… Experts say the crabs – which are about 1-to 3-inches long – haven’t been seen in the area for decades… The pelagic crabs are the latest in a year of odd sightings… glow-in-the-dark organisms called pyrosomes washed ashore in September, and before that a blue, jellyfish-like creatures…
CBS L.A., Feb 22, 2015: [E]xperts say the crab hadn’t been seen this far north in decades… Passers-by stopped to marvel at the unusual sight… Daniel Stringer, who’s lived on Balboa Island for 47 years, says he’s never seen the little crabs…
Newport Beach Independent, Feb 26, 2015: Thousands of tiny crabs that look like mini lobsters washed up on the shores of Balboa Island this week, covering the sand with a sea of red… They appeared on Balboa Island several weeks ago and then disappeared, but have reappeared. Most appear to have washed ashore dead, but many are still swimming in… crews have been scooping up [remains].
LA Times, Jan 22, 2015: [T]housands of candy-red crabs rarely seen in coastal Southern California have washed ashore in Newport Beach… this marks the first time in years that [Southern California Marine Institute director Daniel Pondella] has heard of them being seen in Southern California. “This is the first warm year we’ve had in quite awhile,” he said. “It could just be a sign of the warm water we’re currently experiencing.”… “I’ve never seen these things before,” [Newport Beach resident Darren Zinter] said. “It’s incredible.”
Tweet from @MLukeMc, Feb 23, 2015: Bazillions of crab-like things washed ashore [see photo].
Tweet from @ABC7Greg, Feb 23, 2015: Thousands of dead crabs washed up on shore on #BalboaIsland. Residents want to know why! (Photo: Tim Sullivan) @ABC7
More on the pyrosomes:
- Corona Del Mar Today: Pyrosomes Wash onto Big Corona Beach… something not been seen before in Corona del Mar, a city expert said. “Pyrosoma is a glow in the dark pelagic tunicate,” said Michelle Clemente, a Newport Beach marine education supervisor, in an email. “Although it is not uncommon to our waters…no one around here has ever seen it!”
- OC Register: The ocean oddities arrived all summer. The glow-in-the-dark organisms called pyrosomes washed ashore… jellyfish-like creatures [were] a bit earlier… “These are strange times,” said Chris Lowe, a professor and head of the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach… “It’s tricky,” Lowe said. “The animals are acting as if we’re going to have an El Niño, but the ocean’s conditions aren’t conclusive.”
Watch the CBS broadcast here