top of page
  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

The small sand balls er Boogers on the beach. Bubbler crabs and how / why they make them.

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

Their mom's never told them not to eat sand! 

These little guys are like the hummingbirds of the beach. For their little bodies, they never seem to stop to rest! Have you found yourself wondering what all those little boogers are all over the beaches and why the heck they do that? Sometimes, it's like the patterns are a hidden language or maybe, I am just watching too much TV lately. 

OK, so they aren't communicating with us but they surely are the best artists on the beach.  Just like everything else in nature, these designs have a purpose.  Can you guess? 

These crabs wait under the sand in an air bubble inside their den until the tide recedes. When the moment is right, as you can see in the video, their little antenna eyes emerge to make sure it's safe and then they go to town shoveling sand into their mouths like a toddlers first trip to the beach. Difference is, they have a filtering system that allows them to ingest the sand, filter out the microorganisms and organic particles that came in with the tide and spit out the rest.  

But why the intricate designs you ask? They do this in a pattern so they are always guaranteed freshies; no ABC sand for them! It's pretty cool to watch how fast they filter the sand outta their mouths and you gotta be patient if you want a chance to watch, they are pretty scared of everything on the beach and flying overhead.

The formation of the bubbles of sand on the beach and the bubble of air they live in is how they got their name as "Bubble Crabs." Maybe we call them "Booger Crabs" here in Morrillo, but now when you get here you will know all about them!  

Speaking of beach time, last we heard, international flights will be resuming in Panama on or around June 26th. That may be a bit soon for people to think of getting on a plane but not too soon to start looking into flights. We know that travel is on everyone's mind but there is still a lot of uneasiness with the thought of getting out. We just want you to know that when you can get here, we will make your trip as easy as possible with minimal contact so you can arrive to surround yourselves with nature not strangers.  

I hope you enjoyed your coffee and thanks for sharing your precious time with me. I really do love it when people respond even if it's just to say hello. I would love to hear how you are doing so go ahead - respond! 

Your Friends in Morrillo,

Cari and Ryan Mackey

Owners and Hosts

Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

22 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page