Christmas Island is not just a Jimmy Buffett song, it’s a real place! And the biggest recurring event there is not Jesus’ birthday, it’s an annual red crab migration. The crustaceans have to cross roads in big numbers, putting them at high risk of being squished by cars. Hence, Chris Bray’s anti-crab mod.
Bray, according to Traveller.com.au, owns a lodge on the Australian island and came up with what are essentially four little plows that are mounted ahead of a vehicle’s wheels:
An innovative new form of transport has been created to protect the Christmas Island red crabs from tourists during their annual migration.
After noticing how many crabs were being crushed by tourists, eco-lodge owner Chris Bray invented the ‘crab-mobile’ – a crab-friendly 4WD to transport his guests to and from the lodge.
“I made a prototype two years ago and tested it last year. After making a few tweaks and improvements, the latest version was finished a week and a half ago,” Mr Bray said. “If you can imagine little horseshoes on the front of the tyre, these work to lightly bump the crabs out of harm’s way.”
Apparently 50 million crabs hike from their homes on land to places in water where their offspring are hatched between September and January. It’s actually kind of freaky.
You can see a video of the Crab Cruiser in action too, but you have to follow the Traveller link because it won’t embed and it’s not on YouTube. Or you could check out this neat photo-thing Bray made of the migration:
Toyota is missing a big opportunity here. Crab shovels for everyone.