A fisherman in England made a discovery of shelluva off the coast of Cornwall: a blue lobster.
Tom Lambourn, 25, was fishing off the coastal town of Penzance earlier this month when he caught the striking azure-colored crustacean a foot long in his lobster trap, the National reported. Lobster Hatchery of England.
“With every jar, you never know what’s going to be inside, and I’ve certainly never seen one of this color before,” Lambourn told Mail Online.
The blue version of lobsters only occurs once in two million creatures.
Very unusual sea creatures may be more common than is known at birth, but the blue pigmentation of their shells makes them stand out against the seabed, making them easy prey.
Lambourn took photos of her find, but sent it back to the ocean because it was too small – and young – to be stored and eaten. If it had been bigger, Lambourn said he would have given it to the Lobster Hatchery.
In 2005, Bowdoin chemistry professor Ronald Christensen reported on his discovery that blue lobsters developed their unusual color due to a random genetic mutation (he put the odds at 1 in a million). It causes an overproduction of a particular protein, which ultimately results in a “bright blue pigment, rather than the typical mixture of pigments that results in the typical greenish brown,” explained the Lobsters Anywhere blog site.
“I’ve been obsessed with blue lobster for years,” Christensen said at the time of blue lobster research. “Mother Nature does a good job of making reds, oranges, yellows and greens, but is quite incapable of doing blues.”
Warming waters and rising sea levels threaten lobster populations in parts of the world, including the United States, where numbers have declined in the New England region.
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