The Micro World of Sand Crabs in Hua Hin, Thailand

One afternoon in Hua Hin, I strolled down Takiab Beach at low tide. All around me, vacationers were enjoying the sunshine. A woman galloped by on horseback, kicking up the pristine white sand. Swimmers splashed playfully in the aquamarine water. Couples relaxed in oceanfront cafes, sipping lattes. I was so focused on the macro world that I nearly tripped over a giant jellyfish that had washed up on the beach. As I reached out tentatively to prod it with my flip-flops I was startled to see the sand move. On closer inspection, I realized the movement was from thousands of tiny ghost crabs that scurried before my feet and ducked into tiny holes in the sand.

Sand crab hole on Takiab Beach in Hua Hin, Thailand
Sand crab hole on Takiab Beach in Hua Hin, Thailand

These translucent, dun-colored spiders of the beach were nearly invisible as they dashed between the holes of their web. Piles of round, dung-like sand balls fanned out from each crab hole, creating a mosaic pattern across the broad expanse of beach. If I stood perfectly still, the mni-crustaceans poked their bulbous eyes above the sand, testing to make sure the coast was clear. Cautiously, they emerged from their burrows pushing yet another round ball of sand onto the beach as they excavated their dens during low tide.

Hours later, the tide rolled back in, burying the crabs beneath the sand until the next low tide, when the process began anew. Macro and micro, the endless cycle of life goes on.

10 thoughts on “The Micro World of Sand Crabs in Hua Hin, Thailand”

  1. In life, we need to be wary of things around us sometimes. We have to take it slow or with one’s eyes peeled. We’ll just be surprised with what to notice later on.

  2. I love the small things in life. When i’m traveling i enjoy sitting in a nice shady place and watching life happen. this is a great example of something amazing which most people don’t even notice.

    Thanks for the post and video i enjoyed them.

  3. This post reminds me of one of my favourite poems, by William Blake. The verse I’m thinking of goes:

    To see a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower.
    I hold infinity in the palm of my hand, and eternity in an hour.

    Just love that quote – there are so many worlds out there, and so many things to see all around us. Lovely post 🙂

    • Thank you, Heather, Mark, and especially Laurence. This post was a bit of a departure from my normal, so I didn’t know quite how it would be received. But your comments have reassured me. I just couldn’t resist waxing philosophical over those sand crabs!


Leave a Comment