Forget “one in a million.” The odds of catching a brightly-patterned, “calico” lobster is more like one in 30 million.
But one of them turned up last month at a Silver Spring, Maryland seafood company, in a shipment from Maine. And now, that lobster, nicknamed “Eve,” is headed for an aquarium, instead of the dinner table.Photo: Ocean City Seafood
Nicholas, the owner of Ocean City Seafood in Silver Spring found the lobster December 21, and set it aside, seeing it looked special. Customers enjoyed seeing it in the store’s tanks, and the owner felt it would serve as an education tool for kids who visited. He determined the lobster is a female, and named her Eve.
It turns out that East Coast aquariums also think Eve would make a good educational opportunity, including the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
“The team at Ocean City Seafood reached out to the National Aquarium’s stranding hotline and our experts recognized that this species is unique and could be of interest to some of our colleagues,” says National Aquarium spokesperson Corinne Weaver.
Ocean City Seafood says arrangements have been made for Eve to move to the Aquarium for a short stay, before she travels to her “forever home” at the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta.
According to the The University of Maine’s Lobster Institute, the odds of finding a calico lobster are 1 in 30 million. Surprisingly, another one turned up in Pine Point, Maine, last fall, and was nicknamed “Friendly Kreuger,” a Halloween nod to horror villain Freddy Kreuger.
In the case of Eve, Ocean City Seafood says even the other lobsters seemed to know she was special. After the owner built a partition to keep Eve apart from the rest of the lobsters in the tank, he says they knocked down the partition and huddled around Eve, protecting her.
-Meg Walburn Viviano