The crabs who ate Christmas

Baby there's crabs outside

Christmas Island crabs.
(Image credit: mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo)

Christmas Island — a tiny Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, about 500 miles south of Indonesia — was named by an English captain who happened to spot it on Dec. 25, 1643.

But the island boasts another festive source for its name: At the end of every year, a rare phenomenon sweeps over its natural green terrain, turning it bright red.

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Kelly Gonsalves

Kelly Gonsalves is a sex and culture writer exploring love, lust, identity, and feminism. Her work has appeared at Bustle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, and more, and she previously worked as an associate editor for The Week. She's obsessed with badass ladies doing badass things, wellness movements, and very bad rom-coms.