DEVON, United Kingdom — An extremely rare BLUE lobster has been discovered in the waters of the United Kingdom. The stunning crustacean was picked up by a local fisherman in the Plymouth Sound, by Devon.
Experts at the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow say that the odds of catching a blue lobster are an astounding one in two million! Local nonprofit organization The Ships Project has since returned the creature to the water at the fisherman’s request.
Mallory Haas, from The Ships Project, says she was “surprised” to see the creature — which she has never seen before in the wild.
“I’d never seen a lobster underwater that blue,” Haas says in a statement from SWNS. ”I’ve seen some in a tank with bits of blue on them, that is quite common, but totally blue is very rare.”
“I’ve seen one in a tank before that was very white, like a ghost, but this one was almost aqua blue – all down her legs,” the 38-year-old, originally from Ohio, adds. “The fisherman who gave her to us said he had decided to release it because of how rare it was and wanted us to return it to the water.”
“It was such a surprise, but she was lovely. We think she must be about 50 years old – you can tell from the size of her claws and body. I’m not sure what causes the blue color, but I think it can potentially be triggered by environmental factors.”
“The blue comes from a B protein that can be released into a lobster’s body due to a genetic defect which can be caused by environmental factors, so while it’s more likely that if she has babies, they will be blue, they might not be,” Haas further explains. “We’ve seen loads of lobsters this year, they all love to hide in cracks and holes on the sea bed in the Sound. I’ve heard there are more than usual this year, but she has clearly been here some time.”
Lobsters have been known to come in many different colors but are normally an orange-brown color in the water — only turning red when cooked. Researchers at the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute have disputed the rarity of blue lobsters but say finding a red lobster is even rarer — at around one in 10,000,000.
Yellow lobsters are even rarer, at one in 30,000,000, while albino lobsters could be called “super-rare,” at odds of around one in 100 MILLION!
South West News Service writer Ed Cullinane contributed to this report.