Select Page

It’s actually easier than you think.

Instead of poking around its sex organs like a lonely fisherman, look for the half-orange, half-black colouring, also known as the split-coloured lobster.

Said to occur at a rate of 1-in-50 million, the two-tone lobsters are hermaphroditic: they have both male and female genitals.

Photo evidence:

The colour is literally split down the middle in a straight line.

If nature can’t produce straight lines, as the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi once claimed, then split-coloured lobsters must be robots from the future. Or something to do with bilateral symmetry – your call.

If you’re not the lobster fancier you made yourself out to be, you might ask what is a normal colour for a lobster?

Common ones are dark brown, with hues of green, red and blue. When cooked, lobsters turn bright red. Which is the kind you’ve probably seen on a dinner plate with a wedge of lemon.

The rare 1-in-10 million live red lobster is ideal for dinner party pranksters.

And just so you know:

  • Blue lobsters are 1-in-2 million
  • Calico (mottled) lobsters are 1-in-30 million
  • Albino lobsters are 1-in-100 million

These rare colourings are caused by genetic mutations.

Blue lobsters have too much of a certain protein which affects their pigmentation. Calico and split-coloured lobsters have too little, so they only show their natural carotenoid pigment, which is what you also see when all lobsters are boiled.

The only exception is albino lobsters (aka crystal lobsters) which don’t have any colour at all and so won’t turn red when cooked.

Now don’t say I never teach you any lobster trivia.

Source: University of Maine Lobster Institute

Bestselling Science Books

Leave a Facebook comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Want to say thanks?

We put a lot of heart and soul* into Science Me, so please share your favourite posts. *There is no evidence for the existence of a soul.