Sand Bubbler Crabs

by • January 31, 2011 • NatureComments (0)2236

Via Stretta at Vimeo:.  . One morning, on the beaches of Langkawi, Malaysia, I noticed fractal-like patterns in the sand. At first I thought it was caused by an impression of seaweed, but upon closer inspection, the patterns were convex, not concave – in fact – the patterns were hundreds of tiny little spheres of sand. There was always at least one clear path to a hole in the sand. If I stayed still long enough, eventually these tiny little crabs – about the size of a fingernail – climbed out of the holes and began their work. The crabs are so small, that it is actually fairly difficult to observe what they’re doing with the naked eye. This seemed like a good opportunity to try capturing video with my macro lens. I didn’t have a tripod, so I found a piece of driftwood and rested the camera on it, laying down prone behind it. I’d never personally seen anything like it before. These are Sand Bubbler Crabs and they’re sifting through huge amounts of sand in search of detritus. The waste sand builds on their head and they kick off the ball before they can’t see over it. The footage was interesting, but the camera audio was not. Sometimes I’d hear some interesting Malaysian insect noises and pull out my iPod to record it. I brought these recordings home and re-created the sounds on my modular. The other option I seriously considered was overdubbing “OM NOM NOM NOM OM NOM NOM NOM NOM” at various pitches and editing that in.


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