"Is fhearr an giomach na 'bhi gun fear tighe." – "Better a lobster than no husband."
~ Scottish proverb
How do you prefer your lobster? In 2018, a Canadian fisherman found a one-in-a-100 million pastel pink and blue cotton candy-colored lobster around Grand Manan Island, a few miles off the coast of Maine. Blue lobsters, in contrast, are more common, with an occurrence of one in-30-million compared to their dull gray/green counterparts! While plants can produce blue pigments thanks to anthocyanins, most creatures in the animal kingdom are unable to make blue pigments. Instances of blue coloration in animals is typically the result of structural effects, such as iridescence and selective reflection, but in these lobsters, the blue color as a result of a genetic mutation that causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein. The protein and a red carotenoid molecule known as astaxanthin combine to form a blue complex known as crustacyanin, giving the lobster its blue color!
The U.S. Senate declared September 25 as National Lobster Day in honor of New England's most celebrated crustacean, citing the lobster's cultural and economic importance to the region.
Interestingly, just like humans, lobsters can be right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous. Many lobster species can live to be over 100 years old and most travel over 100 miles a year in migratory patterns.
Most wild lobsters are dark blue-green or greenish brown. However, there are several rare-coloured lobsters. The blue lobster, for example, occurs at a rate of once in two million; the even rarer red lobster occurs once in 30 million; while the most rare lobsters are the yellow lobster (1 in 50 million) and the calico lobster. A lobster split down the middle into two separate colour sides has even been found!
This tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, honors these colourful rarities of nature.
For a roundup of rare lobster colours, click the blue lobster.