Video Shows Fisherman Catch Giant, 100-year-old Lobster, Throws It Back Into Ocean

A Maine fisherman's video showing him catch an enormous lobster, estimated to be around 100 years old, then returning it to the ocean has been viewed over 13 million times.

In the video, posted to TikTok, fisherman Jacob Knowles holds the huge lobster up to the camera by the claws.

"Everybody's always asking what the biggest lobster I've caught is. And I don't know, we don't have any way to weight them on the boat ... But this one is up there with one of the biggest ones I've caught," Knowles says in the video, as he holds the lobster up to the camera. "I really don't know how heavy it is. It must be well over 10 pounds and is probably pushing 100 years old."

Knowles posts videos to his TikTok page documenting his catches

Knowles said the claw alone must weigh at least four or five pounds. For reference, the fisherman holds the catch against a one-pound lobster he had previously caught. The huge crustacean looks over double the size of the smaller lobster.

Knowles also holds a can up to the catch for reference. The crustacean's claw looks thicker than the can, while its body appears to be at least three times the size.

"Pretty crazy to think my grandfather and my great grandfather, most likely my father could have caught this lobster," Knowles says in the video. "We're going to let him go."

The fisherman then drops the huge animal back into the water.

On TikTok, Knowles posts videos of his life as a lobster fisherman in Maine. This video has been viewed over 13.9 million times.

American lobsters, in particular, can grow incredibly large and are found in the northwest Atlantic Ocean from Labrador to Cape Hatteras. They are particularly abundant in Maine, and there are thriving numbers in coastal waters through to New Jersey.

In 2020, 96 million pounds of lobster was caught in Maine, according to the state's Department of Marine Resources.

Lobsters never stop growing. While the ability to do so diminishes with age, older lobsters can grow to impeccable sizes.

Scientists have debunked myths that lobsters do not age and can grow to incredible sizes without dying. The American lobster can live to at least 100 years, however like other organisms, they eventually die. A lobster that lives to 100 years old can grow up to 4 feet.

Lobster lifespan largely depends on the waters they live in. Scientists believe that as the American lobster lives in the cold Atlantic waters, their metabolism slows down, preventing them from aging quickly. Lobsters that live in warmer waters, such as around the Caribbean, have faster metabolisms, which speeds up the aging process.

A stock photo shows an American lobster. They can grow to impeccable sizes if they live a long time. Royalty-free/Getty Images