Google made some poor soul run a crab gauntlet for Street View

Christmas Island's annual crab migration is a beautiful natural wonder… but capturing it for Google Street View is a different matter altogether.

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
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  • Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Claire Reilly
Red Crab Migration on Christmas Island

Google Street View has captured the annual red crab migration on Christmas Island off the coast of Australia. 

James D. Morgan/Getty

There's no doubt Google Street View made cartography cool. It lets us see any street in the world up close and personal, and gives us a first-hand view of places like the Great Barrier Reef, Disney World and the International Space Station.

Google's "trekker" in action. 


But the latest edition of Google Street View is a cut above. And we have serious respect for the man who managed to capture everything on camera. 

In December 2017, Google sent Dr Alasdair Grigg from Parks Australia to Christmas Island (a remote Australian territory off the coast of Western Australia) to film its annual crab migration. The unique natural event sees the island's millions of bright red crabs make their way from forest to sea to lay their eggs. It's a massive draw for tourists and a part of life for locals (yes, the crabs have right of way here) and Grigg was selected by Parks Australia to be Google's dedicated "Street View trekker" to capture the whole thing. 

Now, Google is bringing that natural wonder to people across the world through Google Maps Street View and Google Earth.

The project lets you explore Christmas Island and nearby Cocos (Keeling) Islands, passing through scenic wetlands, white sand beaches and rocky ocean blowholes, before watching the crab migration in full scuttle.

Perhaps not quite the same as being there. But certainly a much lower risk of being snapped by a rogue crab.

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