Crab Art

Everyone who goes to the beach will have seen the small balls laid out on the sand. I find them a wonderful expression of nature. None are the same although some are more elaborate than others. When we went for a walk along Emerald Beach on the Mid-north Coast of NSW, with all the other people who take advantage of a leash free area on the beach where the dogs can run free, I noticed that the small balls on the beach didn’t have any footprints in them. Perhaps there is a bit of respect for the creators of what I like to call Crab Art.

First of all have a close look at the sand balls. They do look rather random don’t they?


They are a seemingly bunch of sand balls scattered on the beach

crab art05_named_emerald beach_march 2017

But some have a shape and form

crab art04_named_emerald beach_march 2017

Can you see the little roads?

crab art03_named_emerald beach_march 2017

This one has a certain cartoon effect I feel. Can you see the face?

crab art06_named_emerald beach_march 2017

This is one of my favourites. Almost a butterfly?

crab art01_named_emerald beach_march 2017

From another angle you can see the little hole where the crabs “home” is.

crab art02_named_emerald beach_march 2017

You really should meet one of the Crab Artists. They are about the size of a finger tip. What fabulous blue eyes.

crab artist_named_emerald beach_march 2017

Do you think the crabs create art on the beach?

11 thoughts on “Crab Art

  1. Great art! Your photos are so interesting that I have to post a question:
    Do you know a scientific explanation why the crabs do this?
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, really?
        Well, sometimes beauty is not enough, and it emerges that I’m a nature scientist. So in this case it really tickles my scientific interest. Maybe you can give me 1 hint before I travel the internet to find out the answer: Do you know the name of the crab?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think that was Kevin 😀
        Could be a Sand Crab or perhaps Ocypodinae The sand balls are from their deep burrows in the intertidal zone. Good luck with your research Evita


      3. Hi bushboy, I found many articles about the crabs, here are some: (great video)
        “After they have scrapped the sand grains clean, they roll them into little balls and toss them behind. By doing this they avoid sifting the same sand twice.”
        Nature is a great inventor and artist….
        Thank you for introducing me to the Sand Bubbler Crabs! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Your favourite is mine too . . .I see a Maple leaf though! They are such amazing creatures, and great name . . .never saw their art when I was in the pacific. Another reason I need to head back!

    Liked by 1 person

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