Meet Calvin the calico lobster, a "1-in-30-million specimen"

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What's a lobster gotta do to avoid getting eaten these days? If you're a lobster living on the coast of Winter Harbor, Maine, the answer is: look like a lava lamp.

A pincer-wielding, black-and-orange lava lamp.

According to NPR, "Calvin" the calico lobster was close to being dunked into a vat of boiling water when the staff at a Cambridge, MA restauraunt noticed its mottled coloration:

Chef Jasper White tells The Boston Globe that he named the lobster Calvin — and contacted the New England Aquarium, which then made plans to pick Calvin up. The lobster will eventually take up residence at the Biomes Marine Biology Center in Rhode Island, according to the aquarium.

A post at the aquarium's blog explains that lobsters come in many different colors, ranging from brown and orange to white.

"While white appears to be the most rare at an estimated 1 in 100 million, coming in second place with an approximate 1 in 30 million is the calico lobster," according to the aquarium's exhibit galleries blog.


Personally, I've always been a fan of the bilateral asymmetry of the orange-brown split colored lobsters. (Pay no mind to the blue lobster in the middle — those occur about once every 2-million lobsters... I mean that's practically common, for god's sake.) Your chances of happening upon an orange-brown split colored lobster are around 1 in 50 million, making them even rarer than their calico cousins. Plus, they're usually gynandromorphs.


What's that? You don't know what gynandromorphy is? Oh, man. Say goodbye to your afternoon. [Boston Globe | NPR | The Lobster Institute]

Top photo by Tony LaCasse/New England Aquarium; Color variation via The Lobster Institute