ATLANTIC CITY, NJ—For the past few months, scientists have been puzzled over the disappearance of about 10 billion crabs. As it turns out, they just forgot that crabs undergo a pilgrimage every once in a while down to Atlantic City, New Jersey, for a few truly crazy nights before heading back home.

Atlantic City natives noticed the influx of crabs late Thursday night, as a few early arrivals crabwalked into the city’s many hotels, unpacked, and rested in preparation for the long weekend. The main cohort arrived Friday afternoon, already ready to party.

The crabs largely spent Friday at Atlantic City’s many casinos. Some were lucky, others were not. As one crab we interviewed outside Borgata Casino commented, “*click click,* *clack click clackity click click.*”

The casino owners and employees were largely more than happy to have the business. One dealer explained his experience: “The ones who don’t stop by a pawn shop bring almost no cash—their wealth is exclusively in pearls, gold, and rare sea artifacts. A total lack of liquidity means we have to appraise all that stuff, turn it into cash, and then get them their chips, which is a huge inconvenience. But they’re great tippers.” Not everyone had the same positive experience, however; one human gambler was viciously pinched after making a “crabs”/“craps” pun and is currently in critical condition at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Locals also complained of inebriated crabs erratically roaming the streets, vandalizing buildings and just causing an overall ruckus. Some crabs were also clearly tripping on much more serious crab drugs than mere crab alcohol. Police have made 38 arrests so far, and found crab meth, crab heroin, crab bath salts, crab cocaine, crab ecstacy, crab ketamine, crab LSD, crab PCP, crab molly, and crab valium on various individual crabs.

Noise has also been a serious problem for residents this past weekend, as the crabs’ intense crab sex, according to one witness, “produced a sort of chorus of harsh clacking noises” until dawn Saturday and Sunday. Another native noted that “this wasn’t monogamous crab sex either—these were mostly full on crab orgies ”

Ultimately, however, most Atlantic City locals consider the occasional crab pilgrimage to be a great boost for local business. “Sure, some will complain,” admitted Mayor Marty Small Sr., “but most of us here in Atlantic City will tell you unequivocally that the crab pilgrimage is a good thing.”

Sadly, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Between Sunday morning and afternoon, almost all of the visiting crabs gathered their things, converted their winnings back into waterproof precious objects, and left for the ocean. Mayor Small left us with one parting sentiment: “I don’t know where they go either, or when they’ll come back. I’m just glad they decided to spend some time with us.”

—B. Hollander-Bodie