Blue Lobster Captured by New England Lobsterman in 1-in-2-Million Chance Catch

by Jennifer Shea

A rare blue lobster turned up in a Massachusetts lobster trap, and, after posing for some pictures, it got its freedom back.

Toby Burnham of Gloucester, Massachusetts discovered the cool crustacean in one of his traps. He then showed it to Joey Ciaramitaro, who co-owns Captain Joe and Sons Lobster Company, Fox News reported. Ciaramitaro took some pictures of the lobster and shared them on his company’s Facebook page.

See a picture of the blue lobster here:

Blue Lobsters Are One in Two Million

It was pure happenstance that the lobster ended up in Burnham’s trap. But Ciaramitaro is glad it did because the Facebook post has drawn plenty of attention.

“That was just by luck that that particular one went into one of his traps,” Ciaramitaro told Fox News.

Ciaramitaro has seen both blue and white lobsters. The blue ones he sees about once every other year. The white ones are rarer.

“The rarest would be like a stark white lobster and we’ve had like maybe one or two of those,” Ciaramitaro told Fox News. “We had one that was split directly down the middle of its shell. Stark, stark white. I nicknamed that one the ‘Phantom of the Lobsta’.”

Roughly one in 2 million lobsters are blue in color, the New England Aquarium estimates. The aquarium has received a range of bright-hued lobsters over the years, from yellow to calico to half-black, half-orange. It also does research into lobster shell disease, which can cause shell discoloration, and which scientists believe is occurring more often as water temperatures rise in the Gulf of Maine even faster than in the world’s oceans.

Burnham Made Different Choice With This Lobster

Usually, when they find an odd-looking lobster – or what they call a “mutant” lobster – Ciaramitaro and his staff catalog it on his blog, Good Morning Gloucester. Then they give it to a local museum and aquarium, Maritime Gloucester, or to the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute.

But in this case, it was Burnham’s call. And he wanted to set the lobster free into the ocean.

“Some people really love the idea of sending it back to sea because it’s such a strange oddity,” Ciaramitaro said. “And I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. I think maybe the wrong answer would be to just boil it up and treat it like any other lobster.”

And who knows, maybe the lobster will wander back into Burnham’s trap again someday. But for now, it’s got a whole ocean to navigate.