Last year on a cold November day, fisherman Robinson Russell caught something very unexpected in his traps. When Russell pulled his trap back up he was shocked to discover a very unique lobster. Russell explained, “I live on a tiny island off the coast of New Brunswick, Canada, called Grand Manan. I have been fishing for over 20 years and it’s the first one I’ve ever seen of that colour.”
One particular lobster couldn’t help but stand out from the crowd with his bright, almost translucent shell glowing with hints of pale blue and purple. Researchers at the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine estimate that a lobster like this one is one in 100 million. Russell also knew when he saw this beautiful colour lobster, that he may never see a catch so special again.
As we all know lobsters can have all kinds of colour abnormalities, and appear bright orange, blue and yellow, which Russel has also came across. According to Cynthia Callahan, manager of the Huntsman Marine Science Center, a lobster’s typical brownish-green colour is caused by the expression of different pigments in his shell. This might lead to you thinking that this special lobster may have albinism, however that is not the case.
Lucky’s unique colour is caused by a genetic mutation. This mutation causes one or more of the red, blue or yellow pigments that’s are present in the shell, to be displayed more clearly. His unique rainbow pigmentation has even earned him the nickname the “cotton candy” lobster. When Russell saw the beautiful cotton candy lobster he knew it was special and he couldn't bring himself to let the unusual animal end up on someone's plate.
“We named it Lucky on the way in, and I posted a few photos of it on Instagram, I really didn’t want to sell it, so I ended up donating it to the Huntsman [Marine] Aquarium in St. Andrews where it will now live out the rest of its days.”