Fact Check

Did Crabs Swarm a Florida Road After Hurricane Irma?

In 2017, a website falsely claimed to be showing live footage of a mass crab migration in the aftermath of the massive storm.

Published Sep 13, 2017

Updated Sep 14, 2017
Claim:
Crabs swarmed onto a Florida road after Hurricane Irma.

Origin

On Sept. 13, 2017, the web site EBUZZ.buzz published a video on loop that it claimed was being aired "live" in "Florida after Hurricane Irma!":

The site has already shown a tendency to appropriate natural disasters such as Hurricane Irma — which has killed at least 23 people in the United States — for unrelated content, which it then describes as "live footage" and plays on a loop to rack up views.

Both that video and a post featuring a video EBUZZ claimed was a "cloud face" generated by the hurricane appear to have been taken down as of Sept. 14, 2017.

Also, while U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed crab migrations in the central part of the state, those involve giant land crabs, commonly known as "blue crabs". The ones featured in EBUZZ.buzz's video, however, more closely resemble the crustaceans that travel en masse across regions such as Christmas Island or Cuba's Bay of Pigs on their annual spawning migration.

We reached out to both USFWS and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission seeking comment, but have yet to hear back.

Sources

Wolf, Colin. "Central Florida's Giant Land Crabs Are Now Emerging From The Earth." Orlando Weekly. 15 September 2015.

YouTube. "Million Crabs Migrating On The Road In Cuba Never Seen Before Amazing Animals Intro." Uploaded by Aut Amazing. 24 April 2017.

PBS. "Cuban Crab Invasion." 30 March 2008.

Osborne, Mark and Shapiro, Emily. "Irma Death Toll Continues to Rise, 90 Percent of Homes Damaged in Florida Keys." ABC News. 13 September 2017.

Updates

Updated to note that EBUZZ's video featuring the crabs has been removed from its Facebook page.

Arturo Garcia is a former writer for Snopes.

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