Though live lobsters are supposed to be blackish-reddish-greenish with almost no exception, colorful lobsters are popping up all along the Atlantic coast lately, leading lobstermen to wonder what’s in the water (presumably while twirling their silver beards).
Whereas colored crustaceans have been around for ages, they used to be a one-in-millions oddity. Today, funny-colored lobsters pop up each month, and according to AP, the colors vary from bright blue to orange yellow to calico to white to split lobsters—ones with one color on each side. Executive director of The Lobster Conservancy in Maine Diane Cowan even claims to have seen a pink and purple one.
Scientists aren’t sure whether the uptick is really substantial, or if it just seems that way because more people take and share pictures than used to. Cowan suggests that bright blue and multi colored lobsters normally have a harder time hiding from predators, “But with the predator population down, notably cod, there might be greater survival rates among these color morphs that are visually easier to pick out.”
Whatever the reasons, lobsterfolk now spot colorful crustaceans much more regularly and sell them, along with the “normals” to restaurants for us to unknowingly eat. Because with the exception of white lobsters which have no pigment, they all turn red and delicious when boiled to death.