Rare Blue-Colored Red King Crab Caught in Alaska


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An exceedingly rare blue-colored red king crab was caught in Norton Sound, Alaska on the fourth of July, and ended up making its rounds as a sort of tourist attraction.

Commercial crabber Frank McFarland discovered the unique crab in one of the pots set down from his boat, The Nome Nugget. McFarland stored the crab at the Norton Sound Seafood Center in Nome, Alaska for two weeks, where it was visited daily by crab enthusiasts who wanted to snap a photo with it.

An employee of the seafood center confirmed that McFarland had returned to collect the crab, and plans to have it mounted.

Scott Kent, of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Nome, called blue-hued red king crabs extremely rare, and commented that they are caught "once in a blue moon." Biologists suspect crabs develop odd colors as a result of genetic mutations.

The red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, is native to the Bering Sea, a region made famous by Discovery's popular reality show Deadliest Catch. The king crab, which is a coveted, valuable, yet difficult to catch food source, is native to the Bering Sea, the north Pacific Ocean and surrounding Alaskan waters.

Earlier this year, another blue red king crab was caught in the Bering Sea and shipped to a wholesaler in Japan. Kenetsu Mikami, president of Marusan Ocean Foods, said, “I’ve been dealing with crabs for 25 years, but this is the first time to see that color. It could be a good omen.” Or it could be indicative of greater Godzilla-esque mutations brewing after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, as some have speculated.

Realistically, the blue coloration is likely due to a random genetic anomaly, as other crustaceans including lobsters have been found blue. The blue-colored red crab of Japan was kept alive and placed on display at Marusan Ocean Foods for observation.

Image via Youtube