WATCH: Red Crabs Wash Up on Southern California Coast - NBC Southern California

WATCH: Red Crabs Wash Up on Southern California Coast

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Hordes of bright red crabs washing up along the Southern California coastline are turning beach sands into a sea of red.

    Hundreds of thousands of dead and squirming red crabs were stranded at Corona Del Mar State Beach in Newport Beach Friday morning, just two days after throngs reportedly washed ashore in Huntington and Imperial beaches.

    "It's kind of crazy because they're everywhere," Haily Avelar said.

    The crabs, which are an inch to three inches long and resemble crawfish, are referred to as pleuroncodes planipesm or tuna crabs, according to Capt. Boyd Mickley with the Newport Beach Fire Department-Marine Operations.

    Red Crabs Wash Up on SoCal Beaches

    [LA] Red Crabs Wash Up on SoCal Beaches
    Beachgoers were shocked as they discovered hundreds of thousands of red tuna crabs washed up along an Orange County shoreline. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 5 on Friday, May 13, 2016.
    (Published Friday, May 13, 2016)

    A similar phenomenon happened last June, when vibrant red crabs carpeted the waterline at Balboa Island and Newport Beach.

    Experts say the tiny red crabs, native to Baja California, usually live along the sandy bottom and are known to travel north and onto Southern California beaches during warm currents.

    Experts warn the public against trying to eat them, as they may contain toxins.

    Get the latest from NBC4 anywhere, anytime