rare lobsters | lobster colors
A rare orange lobster was found at a Roche Bros. in Massachusetts. Photo: Provided by New England Aquarium

Lobsters in the summer may be a common sight, whether at a grocery store or on a restaurant menu, but one such crustacean that made its way to a Massachusetts Roche Bros. was a one in 30 million find.

A rare orange lobster was found in a Westborough Roche Bros. last week and will now be donated to the New England Aquarium, saved from its dinner-plate fate.

The unique lobster came from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia and is “considerably more rare” than a blue lobster, the aquarium said.

The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine (yes, that's a thing) puts the likelihood of an orange lobster naturally occurring at 1 in 30 million. Most orange lobsters have a “mottled mix” of both orange and black, experts say, but this male crustacean is pretty much all-over orange. Or, as the New England Aquarium noted in a release, “predominantly pumpkin-like in his color.”


This lobster is one and two-thirds pounds, according to the aquarium, and most likely 7 to 9 years old. That age shows his tenancy, the aquarium notes, since his bright color pretty much makes him a “neon sign” to predators.

The day-glo crustacean will be taken in by the aquarium either for future exhibit in Boston or for shipment to a public aquarium in Japan. You won’t be able to get a glimpse at his pumpkin-like appearance right away, though, as he’ll need to undergo a month-long quarantine first.

rare lobsters | lobster colors

What other rare lobster colors are there?

Though lobsters are depicted with that bright-red shade, that color only comes after cooking the crustaceans. Most lobsters are naturally a greenish-brown hue, but rare lobsters can come in an array of colors.

The most known odd lobster color is a bright blue, with one in 2 million lobsters appearing that color. A natural, pre-boiling-pot red lobster is a one in 10 million rarity.

Even rarer than those two is a yellow lobster, according to the Lobster Institute,  estimated to be one in 30 million — on par with the orange lobster. Calico colored, or those with mottled orange and black shells, are on the same rarity level, as well.

But there are rarer crustaceans still, like the split-colored lobsters, in which a lobster is divided down the middle with two distinct colors on either side. And finally, the rarest lobster find of all is one that has no color: albino, aka crystal lobsters. Your odds of seeing such a sight? One in 100 million — and in Aug. 2017, some lucky lobstermen actually caught one in the Gulf of Maine.

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