Conveniently located on the foreshore of Rye Front Beach, these public toilets are perfectly placed to service all that travel to this beautiful seaside town – whether by foot, by sea, by bike or car.
A large and wonderful mosaic titled “Invasion of the Spider Crabs 2016” adorns the wall facing the beach. It just goes to show what amazing things can be achieved when the community rallies together. An extract of the plaque reads:
” . . . This artwork was inspired by the annual migration of spider crabs to Rye pier. Designed by artist Simon Normand, the mosaics were created with the enthusiastic support of students and teachers from Rye Primary School . . . “
This fantastic mural prompts an investigation into this ‘invasion’. It reveals yet another astonishing natural marvel.
In short, the normally solitary Giant Spider Crab (Leptomithrax gaimardii) migrates in their tens of thousands to the shallows of Port Phillip Bay, for their annual winter moult. This amazing phenomenon appears to occur at varying times – generally between April to July, and, at varying locations – having been observed at Rye, Sorrento & Portsea (though not of more recent years) on the Mornington Peninsula, and, St Leonards across the bay on the Bellarine Peninsula.
As they march together they will often form pyramid-like mounds which have been observed at up to 2 m tall and a kilometer in width !!! As these mounds of giant crabs meld together they will often moult in unison, shedding their old shell or exoskeleton which by this stage they have outgrown, for a brand new bright orange one, that takes approximately 2 days to harden. It is believed the reason they come together is their vulnerability to predators during this hardening process – ‘safety in numbers’, so to speak . . .
This process attracts sea birds, rays, fish, seals and even sharks as they feast on the unlucky soft crab or on the debris they leave behind, however, most of would have no idea of the massive migration that is occurring below the surface of the water.
Once the crabs are ready, off they head, returning to their solitary lives for another year, picking up fragments from the sea floor along the way and placing them on their shells in an attempt to increase their camouflage . . .
– Located within the Town Centre – obtain Directions here
– Facilities available at Rye include:
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