Rare ‘cotton candy’ color lobster caught off the coast of Maine: ‘1 in a 100 million’ chance
Maine is known for its lobsters, but one lobsterman made the catch of a lifetime when a trap caught a “cotton candy” color lobster over the weekend.
While most people picture lobsters as red, they actually come in a variety of colors, with most American lobsters having a brownish shell color. The red color they are known for comes after they are cooked.
Lobsters can come in more rare shades, including blue, which the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance says is a one in a two million chance. Finding a yellow lobster is a one in 30 million chance, and the rarest find is the white lobster at one in 100 million chance.
The chances of catching a lobster with a cotton candy coloring are the same as a white lobster, according to Get Maine Lobster, a direct-to-consumer seafood company based in Portland, Maine. The lobster was caught by lobsterman Bill Coppersmith in Casco Bay over the weekend, just outside of Portland.
Luckily for the lobster, which was named Haddie in honor of Coppersmith’s granddaughter, it won’t be on anyone’s dinner plate any time soon. The company said they will not cook or sell the lobster to anyone, but rather they will work with local marine organizations and aquariums to give it a permanent, safe home.
“We’re not gonna sell it. We’re not gonna cook it. We want to preserve it,” said Mark Murrell from Get Maine Lobster.
The reason lobsters can appear in different colors is because of the pigment they have called astaxanthin, similar to how humans have melanin. The color of a lobster can depend on what proteins interact with the astaxanthin.
Different colors may seem cool to humans, but they can be potentially dangerous to lobsters. Lobsters usually blend into their environment to hide from potential predators, meaning a cotton candy-colored lobster could easily be found on the ocean floor.