TWO Albino Lobsters! An Incredibly Rare Find
In an incredibly unlikely turn of events, Maine fishermen found two albino lobsters in two consecutive weeks. Lobsters are known to take on a number of unusual and rare colorations, but albinism is the rarest by far.
The lobsters were both caught off the Maine coast and brought to Owls Head Lobster Company in Owls Head this past week.
Elizabeth Watkinson, one of the owners of Owls Head Lobster Company, told Maine's WMTW that lobsterman Bert Philbrick caught one of the lobsters Thursday, and lobsterman Joe Bates caught the other lobster last week.
Watkinson went on to add that these aren't the only strange lobsters the company has seen. She told local media stations that they see blue lobsters about once a year.
These vibrant lobsters are generally the result of over-coloration, in which a relatively rare genetic mutation that promotes the production of proteins behind blue coloration to a higher degree. The mutation is called erythrism and is seen in a number of chitinous creatures, even creating bright pink grasshoppers.
What's interesting, Lobster Institute executive Robert Bayer told National Geographic, is that when they boil they still turn bright red.
Albinism, however - an absence of pigmentation entirely - is far rarer, with a one in 100 million chance of seeing one. Bayer said he had never seen an albino lobster and he has been working with lobsters all his life. And now in Maine, two show up within several days of one another.
An even wilder looking lobster, split or "half cooked" lobsters are nearly as rare, reportedly ranging between one in every 50 to 100 million. These lobsters are often born as hermaphrodites and are missing the genetic information to produce blue pigment for exactly half their body. The result is a stunning "two faced" lobster - red on one side (like it's cooked) and a standard greenish-brown on the other.
If you want to see more wild lobsters, check out GoodMorningGloucester's photo album of every mutant lobster the Massachusetts-based bloggers have ever stumbled upon.