A fisherman hauled in a rare bright blue lobster over the weekend of July 22.
Gary Ely made the catch off Mersea Island in Essex, reports the Daily Mail.
His daughter, Stacey, gave a description of the shellfish which provides a sense of its uniqueness. "I hadn't realized just how blue the lobster was until I saw it against the other lobsters dad had caught," she said. "It was spectacular."
The specimen was too rare for boiling alive, so Ely assigned Stacey with the task of finding a new home for it.
"It was a hot weekend and desperate to keep the lobster -- we have called it Loui -- alive over the weekend," she explained. "Dad left him in safe hands at the Company Shed fish restaurant where they kept him alive in their holding tanks with all the other lobsters. Luckily no one boiled him up or ate him. I did some investigations first thing Monday morning and soon found Loui a home."
After Loui's new home was located, Stacey summarized the lobster's itinerary:
Tuesday morning dad took Loui over to the Southend Sealife Centre where they will now keep him in quarantine for 30 days before he can be released into the tanks with the rest of the salt water animals. They must keep him in quarantine to ensure he doesn’t carry any diseases that could spread to the other shellfish or fish in the tanks. Loui should be out of quarantine by 7th August and waiting to show off his pretty blue shell in his new tank.
Only one in 2 million lobsters are estimated to be blue instead of their standard reddish hue. The blue tone is due to a genetic mutation in which an excessive amount of a particular protein combines with a red molecule called astaxanthin to create the striking appearance.
Astaxanthin also happens to be a "superfood" that is highly prized among alternative health aficionados. Mike Adams of the website Natural News calls it "one of the most remarkable supplements ever discovered." As he explains: "It's produced by a natural microalgae found in nature, and it's the nutrient that gives salmon both its red flesh color as well as its remarkable physical stamina."
Amazingly, only hours have Loui was caught, another blue lobster was netted across the Atlantic by New Hampshire lobsterman Greg Ward, reports The Associated Press.
Ward donated his catch to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, New Hampshire, for study and display in its "exotic" lobster tank.