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Blue Lobsters Are Real !

Animals

Blue Lobsters Are Real !

R000 Ag 01Photo by NOAA Photo Library

In August 2014, a young girl and her father, made a rare find when they pulled their lobster trap out and found 2 pound blue lobster. Jay LaPlante, who runs the Miss Meghan’s Lobster Catch company, and his 14-year-old daughter went about their daily routine when they pulled out a lobster trap about 10 miles southwest of Portland, Maine, and found themselves staring at the rare crustacean.

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According to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine, the find is akin to winning the lottery, as Oceanographers have estimated that only 1 in 2 million lobsters is blue. The irregular color is caused by a genetic defect that leads the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a certain type of protein. Most lobsters are dark green or brown, until boiling water turns them the bright red we are used to seeing on our dinner plates. Luckily for the lobster, which Meghan named Skyler, its rare blue color will prevent it from being anyone’s dinner anytime soon.

The LaPlante family donated the lobster to the Maine State Aquarium located in West Boothbay Harbor, Maine, around 30 miles northeast of Portland, where it will enjoy a long life accompanied by three other blue lobsters and an orange one. Meghan and her father knew they has something special as soon as they saw it. She said that as soon as they pulled it out of the water, they saw the blue color and were amazed. Even though they make a living catching lobsters, this is the first time they have ever seen a blue one. Her father immediately told her to put it in the tank right away.

The blue lobster that was found is a species of lobster known as the American lobster, also called Canadian lobster or Maine lobster. They can grow up to 25 inches long and weigh up to 44 pounds. They are not only the heaviest crustacean in the world, but also the heaviest of all arthropod species. As rare as a blue lobster may be, there are other color variations that are even rarer. Although, most lobsters turn red after being cooked, a lobster that is red while alive is 1 in 10 million find.

The calico lobster, which has a mottled orange and black shell, was also caught in Maine in 2010 and is a 1 in 30 million catch. Another lobster with the same odds is a solid yellow lobster, which is a result of a rare genetic mutation. A few yellow lobsters have been reportedly found of the coast of Main, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Even fewer lobster, 1 in 50 million, are half orange and half brown and reported to be hermaphroditic chimeras, meaning they share both male and female reproductive organs. According to the Lobster institute, only 3 have been seen in the past 35 years.

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Video by: Resorts World Sentosa

The rarest of all lobsters, is an albino lobster, whose shell is absent of color. According to the institute, the odds of catching an albino lobster is 1 in 100 million.  

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