A rare calico lobster is set to debut at Hampton’s Explore the Ocean World Oceanarium. The orange and blue crustacean was donated to the oceanarium by a local fisherman. Josiah Beringer said he and his nephew found the unusual lobster in a trap, which was set near the mouth of New Hampshire’s Hampton Harbor
Marine biologist Ellen Goethel said the crustacean’s unique pattern is caused by a genetic mutation within the shell’s pigment. Goethel said calico lobsters are the “second most rare lobster,” with albinos being the first.
As reported by Sea Coast Online, one in every 30 to 50 million lobsters are born with a calico pattern. In contrast, only one in 100 million are albino.
As the lobster was found in a blue trap, Beringer decided to name it “Blue.” The fisherman said he has captured a total of five calico lobsters in his 14-year career. However, his latest find is special:
“I’ve caught five of them including that one, but that is definitely by far the coolest by a long shot… This one even had spots on his antennae. It was pretty rad.”
Goethel agreed with the fisherman’s assessment. The marine biologist said the lobster’s pattern is unusually vivid and the coloring is “absolutely gorgeous.”
Beringer eventually chose to donate the lobster, so others could share the experience. As he often finds unusual marine life in his traps, Beringer likes to “donate cool stuff… so kids can learn something about them.”
The Explore the Ocean World Oceanarium is unique, as many of the displays are temporary. When possible, the marine life is eventually returned to its natural habitat. The calico lobster is no different. Goethel said the rare crustacean will be on display for the remainder of the summer. It will then be returned to Hampton Harbor.
In addition to the lobster exhibit, the oceanarium is well-known for their “touch tank,” 150-gallon deep sea display, and frozen specimens. As discussed on their website, the Explore the Ocean World Oceanarium also offers traveling and in-house educational programs.
The displays and programs are designed to “improve public awareness of the Gulf of Maine’s natural wonders, help visitors to fully appreciate New Hampshire’s remarkable natural resources, and to foster a stewardship for seacoast and its environment.”
Guests are already excited about the oceanarium’s newest resident. Goethel said she has received numerous calls about the calico lobster and when it will be on display.