Lobsters are awesome creatures. They’re often said to be “immortal” – showing no signs of decline in strength or fertility as they age. This also means they live for decades upon decades and can continually grow until they do eventually die through the exhausting process of molting their shell.
But unfortunately, these creatures also taste mighty fine.
These were the factors at play in the story of Larry the lobster. The lobster was fairly recent resident at a fish restaurant on Florida’s Sunset Strip. When Joseph Melluso, the restaurant’s owner, bought the lobster from a seafood supplier for $200, it weighed an impressive 6.8 kilograms (14.98 pounds) – more than three times larger than your average lobster. Since size is typically a fairly accurate indication of age, Melluso estimated its age to be somewhere around 110 years old. Although, a marine biologist told ABC News that "might be a bit of an exaggeration," adding it could still be as old as 80 years old.
Larry’s size and age bought him some attention from seafood aficionados and animal lovers alike. One man decided to take the hit on his credit card and aimed to eat the lobster for dinner on Tuesday last week. But before he could, old-timer Larry had also got the attention of local animal lovers, who wanted to save the lobster from the boiling pot.
The group of local people gathered some money together to reimburse the man who wanted to eat Larry. Melluso got behind the idea and the would-be eater also agreed, so Larry was packed up with seaweed and frozen gel packs in a box to start a new life of freedom. He was sent to Maine State University, where biologists were going to monitor his health and assess whether he’d be better off back in the ocean or in the aquarium's tanks.
However, when they opened the styrofoam box at the aquarium on Wednesday, Larry was unresponsive. The aquarium suspect he had died at some point on his long journey, putting a solemn end to Larry’s saga.
“It’s very disappointing,” restaurant owner Joseph Melluso told Portland Press Herald. “It definitely makes for an ugly story for something that had a lot of good energy and good intention behind it.”