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.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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Public Domain

A very simple thing happened earlier this week. Dr. Seuss Enterprises—the company that runs the Dr. Seuss estate and holds the legal rights to his works—announced it will no longer publish six Dr. Seuss children's books because they contain depictions of people that are "hurtful and wrong" (their words). The titles that will no longer be published are And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat's Quizzer.

This simple action prompted a great deal of debate, along with a great deal of disinformation, as people reacted to the story. (Or in many cases, just the headline. It's a thing.)

My article about the announcement (which contains examples of the problematic content that prompted the announcement) led to nearly 3,000 comments on Upworthy's Facebook page. Since many similar comments were made repeatedly, I wanted to address the most common sentiments and questions:

How do we learn from history if we keep erasing it?

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