Fisherman Catches Enormous 100-Year-Old Lobster His Ancestors May Have Met

A Maine fisherman caught a 100-year-old lobster that probably met his ancestors, footage shows.

The footage, originally posted to TikTok, shows fisherman Jacob Knowles holding the gigantic lobster up to the camera. Knowles posts videos to TikTok of his life as a lobster fisherman in Maine. This one was viewed on the platform 1.7 million times.

"This is quite possibly the biggest lobster we've ever caught," Knowles says in the video. "The only reason we were able to catch it was because of his small claws. At some point in his life he lost his claws and he grew back some new ones. So unfortunately his claws don't match his body but if you look at his body, it's very impressive."

Big lobster
A photo shows fisherman Jacob Knowles holding up the huge lobster. He threw it back into the ocean after giving it a snack. Jacob Knowles via Storyful

The fisherman then holds the lobster up to the camera, displaying its huge size.
Knowles is a fourth generation fisherman and said it is quite possible the 100-year-old lobster would have been caught by his family, who lead lives as fishermen before him.

"This lobster has got to be around 100 years old...it's pretty crazy to think about it. My father has very likely caught this lobster at one point in his life, so has my grandfather, and possibly my great-grandfather has also caught it. If you want to get crazy, it's possible that my great-great-grandfather caught that lobster when he was a baby," Knowles says in the video. "They've all fished in the same area for years."

According to Knowles, this is possible because these lobsters "migrate through the same area year after year."

As the lobster was so large, it was not legal to catch. In Maine, lobsters this size are protected for breeding purposes to ensure the population continues to thrive. Knowles says that the lobster would have been over-sized by the time it was 50, around half a century ago.

American lobsters can grow incredibly large and are found in the northwest Atlantic Ocean from Labrador to Cape Hatteras. They are particularly abundant in Maine—in 2020, 96 million pounds of lobster was caught in Maine, according to the state's Department of Marine Resources.

Knowles says that due to the lobster's old age, he no longer has any teeth on his claws; however, overall the crustacean was "pretty healthy."

"You can see he has a little bit of shell disease starting but overall he's in good shape....look at the size of his tail...it's the size of both of my hands," Knowles says.

Before throwing the lobster back into the water, Knowles attaches some food to his claws.

"Open your claws, you're getting free food," Knowles can be heard saying, as he attaches the fish to his claw.

"There you go. Go make some babies!" Knowles says, as he throws the ancient lobster back into the depths.

Correction 06/08/2022 3.07 a.m. ET: This article has been corrected to say the lobster was 50 half a century ago, not half a decade.