Scott Kent was getting ready to go salmon fishing in the Norton Sound when he ran into commercial crab fisherman Frank MacFarland, who was delivering his latest catch.

"He said, 'I got one of those blue ones,'" Kent, the assistant area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Nome, said in a phone interview.

MacFarland held up a crab with a deep lavender shell, the likely result of a genetic mutation. It was a rare discovery, one that thrilled Norton Sound fishery managers and area biologists who said such sightings are few and far between.

The red king crab that wasn't red appeared in Nome on July 4.