The vast majority of wild lobsters are a mottled brown, although very rare specimens scramble across the sea floor sporting more peculiar colors, and about one in 10 million are bright orange.
So imagine the odds of discovering six orange lobsters in a single shipment. The retail manager of a Massachusetts seafood restaurant did just that while unpacking a recent shipment, and his first reaction was that someone had played a joke by placing cooked lobsters among the live lobsters (lobster shells turn a reddish orange when they’re cooked).
Tony Sarros, 9, holds up an ordinary live lobster (left) and one of six extraordinary orange lobsters that ended up at his father’s restaurant in Mansfield, Mass.
Then the glossy crustaceans began to move and the manager realized the special nature of his discovery, and shared the news with his boss.
“One in 10 million? It doesn’t get much better than that,” Bill Sarro, owner of the Fresh Catch Seafood and Deli chain, told the Boston Globe.
The lobsters remain in tanks at two of Sarro’s restaurants, and are a hit with customers. In fact, Sarro is running a name-that-lobster promotion on his website and via email. Among names that have come in are Sunshine, Shelly and Clementine.
Customers come in and they all ask about them, so I bring them over to the back and let them take a look,” he said. “They’re not for sale, though. We’re going to keep them here in the tank and let people come and see them to enjoy the naturalness of them.”
However, the New England Aquarium is interested in the lobsters so maybe they’ll eventually end up on display with the facility’s other orange lobsters, a blue lobster (1 in 5 million) and an even rarer calico lobster (1 in 30 million).
Tony LaCasse, a spokesman for the New England Aquarium, said of the orange lobsters: “The orange color of the lobsters is outstanding. It’s a goldfish or jack o’ lantern orange. They’re big, lustrous-looking lobsters.”
LaCasse acknowledged that perhaps the 1 in 10 million number needs to be re-evaluated. He told ABC News that estimates for the rarity of lobster pigments are in flux and that five orange lobsters in a single batch suggests that orange lobsters might be producing other orange lobsters in small areas. (The ABC story erroneously states there were five lobsters, not six.)
Those at Sarro’s restaurants were captured near Quebec’s Magdalen Island.
MORE ON GRINDTV
- NATURE: Sardine run off South Africa produces stunning imagery
- NATURE: Leaping dolphin tries to shake off pesky octopus
- NATIONAL PARKS: Six premier lodges in national parks, for those who don’t like to camp