The video: A curious new trend in vending-machine fare is cropping up China: Refrigerated live crabs. For as little as 15 yuan (two dollars), busy commuters in the city of Nanjing can purchase a "Dazha" hairy crab, a local delicacy prized for its flavorful roe. Inside the machines, rows of the plastic-encased crustaceans are kept dormant by chilly 41-degree air. And if you happen to get a crab that's beyond dormant? A "sign next to the machine offers three free crabs for anyone who is unlucky enough to get a dead one."
The reaction: "What a deal!" says Adam Frucci at DVice. "I don't think the demand for hairy crabs is high enough here in the States to warrant bringing it across the Pacific — but maybe a lobster vending machine could be in our future?" Instead, says Stephen Messenger at TreeHugger, maybe we could design "a vending machine that dispenses a bit of decency. After all, shouldn't consuming living things be a little less convenient?" Watch a live-crab vending machine in action:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: December 18, 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- Dick Cheney's America is an ugly place
- Could better U.S.-Cuban relations thwart baseball's human smuggling problem?
- The liberation of Barack Obama
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
Subscribe to the Week