California is being invaded by crabs. Again. Here's why it keeps happening.

Beaches in Southern California were recently invaded by a creepy-crawly carpet of crustaceans.


People who wanted to take a walk along Newport or Laguna Beach were greeted by thousands of the little red crab-like animals.

The little guys are known as tuna crabs.


Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images.

Some people also call them langostillas or pelagic red crabs, though they're actually not crabs at all. They're from a related group known as squat lobsters.

Though they look kind of creepy, tuna crabs are pretty harmless.

They're only a few inches long at most, eat plankton, and are food for many different species of animal, including whales, tuna, squid, and sea birds.

Plus, most of the ones that washed ashore seem to already be dead by the time people find them. So no danger — unless, of course, you count the danger to everyone's noses from thousands of dead crabs (eww).

What's weirder than the crabs themselves is that this isn't the first time this has happened.

This is a photo from a beach in 2002, for instance.

This was taken in San Diego in May 2002. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

And here's one from as recently as 2015.


It looks like a Red Lobster restaurant disapparated. Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images.

So what's making them appear? We think it's El Niño.

El Niño is a phenomenon where warm ocean currents in the Pacific get pushed up against the western coast of Central and South America.

Swooosh. GIF from Met Office - Weather/YouTube.

This shoves cooler temperature currents out of the way (and can change weather patterns around the world).

How does this relate to the crabs? Well, the crabs normally like to live in the usually cold shallows off Baja California, but if the water gets really warm — like during El Niño — they'll migrate, moving north in vast swarms towards Southern and Central California.

As the climate changes, we may get more intense episodes of El Niño.

Scientists aren't completely sure how climate change will affect El Niño. While we're certain that the Earth is getting warmer, it's hard to predict how specific weather patterns will change. It's like watching a basketball game: We know the score is going to go up the longer we watch, but it's hard to say whether one particular shot will go in.

We do know that weather patterns will shift, and we know for a fact that the ocean is getting warmer. These factors have led some scientists to predict that future El Niño events will become more intense.

Warmer oceans and — maybe — more intense El Niño events? That might mean we could see these little guys again soon.

Photo from David McNew/Getty Images.

We don't know for sure if we'll see tuna crabs again soon, but we do know that climate change will likely force many different plants and animals to shift their ranges. We've already seen it in butterflies and birds, for instance.

As the planet gets warmer, we're going to see more big changes in the animals and plants around us. So these crabs? They might be an early sign of things to come.

Heroes
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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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