While lobsters might not get the acclaim they deserve in terms of popularity and are more likely to end up on a platter at a fancy seafood restaurant than a top ten list of impressive creatures, they nevertheless have some pretty noteworthy characteristics. While most lobster species appear in shiny red or orange hues, just occasionally, an unusually colored lobster will pop up in a fisherman's net and surprise us all.
A firm IFLScience favorite is Banana the yellow lobster, a result of a one in 30 million genetic mutation in the proteins that bond with shell pigments, causing her bright yellow color. While she might be one in 30 million, the team did manage to find her an equally brightly colored friend in 2023.
Also on the list of unusual lobster colors is Freckles with her one in 30 million calico coloration who avoided a destiny as a lobster dinner after the staff at a restaurant released they were onto something rather special. The calico coloration is a word more commonly associated with cats, but Freckle's color manifests as bright yellow/orange and dark blue-green specks.
While one in 30 million is pretty incredible odds, perhaps the most striking coloration is that of the unexpectedly bright blue lobster. Found recently by Les Viviers de Noirmoutier, they put the odds of finding one like this at one in 2 million. Fortunately, this incredible blue lobster was saved from a culinary fate and taken to a fishing prohibited area according to their Facebook post.
Other unusually colored lobsters also exist in the form of leucistic individuals. This ghostly white lobster had a partial loss of color from the lack of pigment – a full loss would have turned the critter albino. This might just be the king of all rare lobster colors. According to How Stuff Works, the odds of finding this rare form, known as a “crystal lobster” are one in one hundred million.
Color changes like these are usually the result of mutations in the genes that code for the pigments produced. Leucistic, melanistic, and albino animals all crop up once every so often and we'll be waiting for the next lobster color addition.