Thousands of dead crabs and sea stars mysteriously wash ashore in Port Aransas, Texas

Thousands of dead crabs and starfish have been reported washing ashore on the beach in Port Aransas, Texas, in the last few days.

Although not making the beach unpleasant, this still unexplained phenomenon makes you wonder: What’s going on here?

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A pile of dead crabs found on the beach of Port Aransas, Texas on June 19, 2016. Picture by Dan Parker, via South Jetty

As reported on the Facebook page of the Mission-Aransas Reserve:

Dr. Ed Buskey here at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute is looking into possible reasons for the small die off of bottom feeding animals such as crabs and sea stars today on a small section of beach in Port Aransas. A possible reason might be temporary low oxygen levels in the near-shore Gulf.

Reading the comments under the video, it seems that this die-off has already started more than two weeks ago:

We noticed this as well two weeks ago… A lot of small crabs in particular.

And not only in Port Aransas, but also in the canals at Island Moorings, on beaches just north of the State Park, and all the way down the seashore too.

Could it be linked to the most recent oil spill or were they killed by extreme heavy runoff due to the large amount of rainfall recently?

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