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Eat and Drink

Two rare, white lobsters caught in Maine this week

A white lobster is a very rare thing.

A white lobster is a very rare thing. Two were caught in Maine this week. (Neither are pictured here.) Photo Credit: FLICKR/ Dan Derrett

Great things happen in Maine.

This week, not one but two super-rare white lobsters were caught in Vacationland. According to the Portland Press Herald, albino lobsters are the rarest of the species, clocking in at one per 100 million.

In other words, the chances of two being spotted in the same area - in this case, mid-coast Maine near Owl's Head - is nothing short of either a miracle or an extreme coincidence, depending on who's talking.

Lobsterman Bert Philbrick caught a white lobster off Owls Head on Thursday, less than a week after another lobsterman, Joe Bates caught one nearby.

Whether these lobsters are truly albino or not is up for debate.

Bob Bayer, executive director of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute, said a test would be to feed the lobsters food high in carotenoids, like crab and periwinkles, which would darken the shell if they're not albino.

Albinos would stay white if cooked, Bayer said.

But neither lobster will be sold for human consumption. One is headed for Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay Harbor and the other for Brooks Trap Mill, a Thomaston supply store with a "tank full of marine life."


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