These creatures are beach crabs, coated with golden plates and armed with able limbs. They move with quick but calculated struts like that of the Ecomog soldier; and with an eye each one watches out for human intruders nearby, while with the other eye they observe the ever transgressing and regressing waves of the Atlantic ocean.
This act seems to have woven itself into the fabric of the beach crab’s everyday life. Each time a crab ascends from its dingy hole, to the left and to the right it looks, as if it’s about to cross Lagos-Ibadan express way.
Why do they do this all the time?
First, crabs are very very shy and they’re always probably thinking "this people wanna catch me for their pepper soup, no way…tufiakwa!"
Second, they’re careful not to get unwillingly swept away by the backwash of the approaching ocean waves.
Well, all these I observed with about a hundred crabs at the Atican Beach Resort, as they hurry carefully from hole to hole along the soaked shore sands of the Atlantic coast.
So, the next time you go visiting the Atican beach or any of the beaches in Lagos, don’t forget to watch out for those amazing crabs. You’ll be so wowed and fascinated you’ll definitely have to keep going back.
The photos below tell the short story better:
- Let’s say Mr. Crab leaves its hole and is going to another hole some metres away…. then in an instant, the waves from the sea roll ashore onto the beach, and Mr. Crab starts running, hoping to get to its destination before the incoming waves hits and sweeps it off…
…the waves are almost at its feet..
– Within a second, the waves inundate the area and the backwash pulls back into the ocean as Mr. Crab is revealed again, crouched at the same point it was when the waves hit it. Afterwards, it quickly rises and begins to run fast towards it destination before the next wave comes in.