Thousands of tiny red crabs stranding on California beach

Thousands of tiny red crabs stranding on California beach
Sylvie Bergeron, of San Diego, at left, and her sister Line Bergeron, of Quebec, walk with their dogs next to tuna crabs that washed up onto the beach at Shaw's Cove on Friday, May 13, 2016 in Laguna Beach, Calif. Pelagic red crabs are usually found off Baja California but currents that are part of the El Nino weather pattern are sweeping them north. (Kevin Sullivan/The Orange County Register via AP)

Thousands of tiny red crabs are carpeting beaches in Orange County and creating an amazing spectacle for swimmers and surfers.

Lifeguards estimate that hundreds of thousands of the washed up Friday on beaches in Newport Beach.

Others were spotted in Laguna Beach.

The Orange County Register reports that (bit.ly/1WwUGne ) pelagic red crabs are usually found off Baja California, but currents that are part of the El Nino weather pattern are sweeping them north.

Thousands of tiny red crabs stranding on California beach
This Friday, May 13, 2016 photo shows tuna crabs washed up onto the beach at Shaw's Cove in Laguna Beach, Calif. Pelagic red crabs are usually found off Baja California but currents that are part of the El Nino weather pattern are sweeping them north. (Kevin Sullivan/The Orange County Register via AP)

The 1- to 3-inch-long crabs have washed up for several years along the Orange County coastline.

Before that, they hadn't been seen in the area for decades.

  • Thousands of tiny red crabs stranding on California beach
    Sylvie Bergeron, of San Diego and her sister Line Bergeron, of Quebec, walk over tuna crabs that washed up onto the beach at Shaw's Cove in Laguna Beach, Calif. Friday, May 13, 2016 . Pelagic red crabs are usually found off Baja California but currents that are part of the El Nino weather pattern are sweeping them north. (Kevin Sullivan/The Orange County Register via AP)
  • Thousands of tiny red crabs stranding on California beach
    This Friday, May 13, 2016 photo shows tuna crabs washed up onto the beach at Shaw's Cove in Laguna Beach, Calif. Pelagic red crabs are usually found off Baja California but currents that are part of the El Nino weather pattern are sweeping them north. (Kevin Sullivan/The Orange County Register via AP)
  • Thousands of tiny red crabs stranding on California beach
    Delila Almaraz, 19, of Covina, picks up a tuna crab while enjoying the beach at Shaw's Cove on Friday, May 13, 2016 in Laguna Beach, Calif. Pelagic red crabs are usually found off Baja California but currents that are part of the El Nino weather pattern are sweeping them north. (Kevin Sullivan/The Orange County Register via AP)

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