London, Nov 04 (ANI): A train station vending machine in China is offering its commuters a different kind of snack - live crabs.
The Dazha hairy crab, which is a popular delicacy in Nanjing, the southeastern province of Jiangsu, is sold in three sizes - small, medium or large - and range in price from 1.50 pounds to 5.00 pounds.
They are packed into custom-fitted plastic boxes and chilled to 5C, leaving them sedated but still very much alive, and customers have been offered three crabs free should they get a dead one.
A local company installed the automated vending machines distributing the crabs at several underground stations in Nanjing.
According to the Telegraph, Wu Zhendi, general manager of Twin Lake Crab Company, said customers were a bit sceptical at first, as they were worried if the crabs were alive or not.
"But now they see they are alive, they keep coming back. We are selling hundreds each day, and more at weekends," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
Shi Tuanjie Shi from the Twin Lakes Crab Co spearheaded the bizarre idea.
"Although crab is a kind of agricultural product, we have made standard packaging for them, so they can be sold in machines without any problems... So we started to do some research and designed the machine," he said.
"We didn't make it at the very beginning, because it's really hard to keep crabs fresh and alive. We made some adjustments to the machine later, taking into considerations of issues like temperature control and so on.
"After that, we managed to trial the crab vending machine in this place, and it works very well and we have not found any dead crabs in our machine so far," he added. (ANI)