This pot is filled with boiling water with spices and then the live crabs are dropped in.
Tongs are necessary because these blue crabs are very nimble and their pinchers will hurt you bad if you mishandle them! Even though I have eaten crabs many times I had several holes in my fingers and slices in my skin after eating my share. The shell is sharp and the pinchers have little horns on them! These crabs are becoming more plentiful lately here in the Laguna Madre body of water we live close to. If you get the chance, try some blue crabs for dinner. You will need an experienced person to guide you, because there are a lot of parts inside there that you shouldn't eat. They are very delicately flavored and some dip them in melted butter but Marianne made a wonderful sauce for us!