Lavender-coloured crab baffles scientists

Lavender-coloured crab baffles scientists

Lavender-coloured crab baffles scientists

Written by Staff Writer

03 Feb, 2014 | 5:11 pm

A shipment of Red king crabs, native to the Bering Sea, arrived at a port in Hokkaido, Japan, from Russia.

When wholesalers at Marusan Mikami opened up the haul, they found one was a rich lavender colour all over.

Marusan Mikami President Kenetsu Mikami told Hokkaido Doshin: “I’ve been dealing with crabs for 25 years, but this is the first time to see that colour. It could be a good omen.”

That is perhaps an optimistic view, but experts at a research centre in Hokkaido suggested the cause of the crab’s colour was “the effect of its diet or possibly a mutation causing a lack of pigment.”

The lavender coloured crab has been kept alive – who would be game enough to eat it?- and put it on display at Marusan Mikami. It has a leg span of about one meter and weighs 3.5kg.

The colour has sparked debate on the internet with the effects of radiation stated as the likely source of the discolouration on more than one occasion.

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