A blue and pink lobster known as a cotton candy lobster has clawed its way into crustacean lore. (See the images below.)
Caught in Maine’s Casco Bay on Friday, the gorgeous creature is so rare that one turns up only about every four to five years, according to National Geographic. Only 1 in every 100 million lobsters has the pastel coloring, home delivery company Get Maine Lobster said.
Bill Coppersmith, a professional lobsterman, told Boston.com that he noticed a “strange color in the trap.”
“I didn’t know if it was a toy lobster or what the heck it was,” he said.
Haddie, named for Coppersmith’s granddaughter, won’t be taking a dip in drawn butter. The approximately 7-year-old female shellfish will get to live at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, New Hampshire, after Get Maine Lobster conducted an adoption search. Her eye-catching hue could make her more vulnerable to predators.
“We did get an offer from someone to buy it, however, I declined,” Mark Murrell, the founder of the seafood company, told HuffPost in an email on Wednesday.
Murrell knew Haddie had to be preserved.
“I have never seen one before in person, and Billy (the lobsterman that caught her) has not caught that color (cotton candy) before,” Murrell wrote.
“If you rotate her in the light it’s like a gem,” Murrell told Boston.com. “It’s like if you were looking at a beautiful gem. Her shell is like the inside of an oyster — it’s pearlish.”
Cotton candy lobsters owe their hue to a pigment called astaxanthin combined with certain proteins, National Geographic noted.
In April, someone fishing in England caught a rare blue lobster but threw it back.