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Ghosts of Cocoa Beach

Walking along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean at Cocoa Beach, Florida, I sense something crawling on the sand out of the corner of my eye. I stop, stoop down, and survey the sandy beach, but I see nothing. I continue my walk and again catch a glimpse of something scurrying on the sand, but it disappears. I begin to think that my eyes are deceiving me.

In the wake of the waves lapping the shoreline a small group of people gather around something that they are curious about, yet afraid of. I go to see what it is and I see an Atlantic Ghost Crab. It is a feisty creature raising its claws to defend itself. A wave washes over it and it vanishes into the sand of the beach.

Later, when I leave the seashore on a trail through the dunes, I finally see what is disappearing into the dunes. It is sand colored ghost crabs retreating to the safety of their boroughs. The crabs blend in so well with the sand and move so quickly that it is easy to miss them. Now you see them, now you don’t. They truly are the ghosts of Cocoa Beach.

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