The Big Blue Ocean Exploration

Rare six-clawed lobster is caught off Massachusetts

Fishermen discover mutated crustacean in trap and donate it to Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay Harbor where it will go on public display

best lobster photo

Photo by Richard Figueiredo F/V Rachel Leah via Maine State Aquarium

A very rare lobster is set to go on public display this week at the Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay Harbor where it will live among other odd-looking lobsters, mostly those with strange coloring.

But this one will stand out for something quite extraordinary: it has six claws.

Capt. Peter Brown and fisherman Richard Figueiredo were lobster fishing aboard The Rachel Leah, one of the five boats featured in “Lobster Wars” on Discovery Channel, when they caught the four-pound, 10-year-old crustacean in one of their traps off Hyannis, Massachusetts.

On the left side, they noticed five Edward Scissorhands-like claws where only one claw should be. A normal claw was on the other side.

Recognizing the lobster as something special, Brown named the lobster Lola and donated it to the Maine State Aquarium.

“This claw deformity is a genetic mutation,” aquarium manager Aimee Hayden-Roderiques told WMTW-TV in Maine. “Sometimes they have this throughout their life, sometimes this happens during a regeneration from a damaged or lost claw.”

The aquarium has two other lobsters with similar deformities on display, but neither is like Lola. Hayden-Roderiques said she has never seen one with six claws before.

It was also a first for David Libby, a marine scientist for the Department of Marine Resources who works at the aquarium and has 40 years of experience working with marine life.

“Sometimes the genes will just get a little mixed and it will grow a funny claw,” he told the Bangor Daily News. “But I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Lucky for Lola, the deformity saved her life.

Here’s a Newsy report on the lobster (Bangor Daily News also has a video worth watching):