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Congress Is Creating A New Crab

All hail the golden king crab.

Posted on May 2, 2017, at 6:03 p.m. ET

The latest spending bill being considered by Congress will fund the US government, which is good. But more importantly, the heroic members of Congress took the time to focus on the issues that matter: what to legally name Alaska's giant, semi-monstrous looking crabs. Behold the newly dubbed "golden king crab."

Formally, golden king crab is known as Lithodes aequispinus. "They have a golden-colored shell and five pairs of legs, the front pair carrying their claws," according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. "They have a distinctive carapace (the shell covering their back) with a fan-shaped 'tail' tucked underneath the rear of the shell."

Golden king crab weigh 5 to 8 pounds, on average, and taste similar to red and blue king crab, "although perhaps somewhat sweeter."

Alaskan fishers have long called it the golden king crab, but the pesky US Food and Drug Administration — which regulates how foods can be marketed — had given it the less-regal sounding title of “brown king crab,” according to according to Politico, which first reported details of the crab-naming language buried deep in the spending bill.

It's a new day in seafood, and Congress is finally letting Lithodes aequispinus ascend to its golden throne. The proclamation of its majestic status — on page 117 of of the 1,665-page spending bill — gets straight to the point, much like the announcement of a new royal baby: "The acceptable market name of Lithodes aequispinus is 'golden king crab.’"

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.