I came across a cool story this morning.
In Massachusetts, a local fish market called Fresh Catch received a delivery of lobsters and discovered not one, not two but six rare orange lobsters in the mix. Apparently the elusive orange lobster is supposed to be a generic deformity of 1 in 10 million. To receive 6 of them is incredible in one shipment! Their initial reaction was that they thought it was a joke and that the lobsters were cooked as Maine lobster shells turn reddish orange when cooked.
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. He also expressed interest in obtaining some of the lobsters for the aquarium so everyone could see them.
Lobsters come in a variety of colors. The ones you will see in New England are mostly a dark reddish-brown in color. They can also be blue-green, yellow, white, orange and red. Albino lobsters (white) are the only ones that don’t turn red when cooked. The lobster’s color is caused by pigments in the shell. All but the albino turn red when they hit hot water. The hot water cuts the link between astaxanthin, a red substance contained in the lobster’s shell, and protein which in cold water brings out the predominant coloring. When the lobster is cooked, all of the color pigments are masked except the red background color.
- Blue lobster 1 in 2 million
- red/ orange lobster (before cooking) 1 in 10 million
- yellow lobster (before cooking) 1 in 30 million
- calico lobster (arange and black mottled0 one in 30 million
- brown and orange split body 1 in 50 million
- albino or white lobster one in 100 million – Gil from Santa Barbara in Lauderdale by the Sea has told me some old diving stories that they used to catch these while shore diving 4o years ago.