Rare 'Cotton Candy' Lobster Found Off Maine in 1 in 100 Million Catch

A rare "cotton candy" lobster was caught in a trap off the coast of Maine over the weekend.

The chances of finding such a creature, characterized by its beautiful iridescent, pale blue shell, has been estimated to be around one in 100 million.

The rare lobster, dubbed "Haddie," was caught by Bill Coppersmith from Get Maine Lobster—a direct-to-consumer seafood company based in Portland, Maine—in Casco Bay.

Lobsters that live off the Atlantic coast of North America tend to be a murky, green-brown in color. They turn orange-red when cooked.

But some American lobsters come in unusual colors, such as bright blue, yellow, bright red, orange or white. Some lobsters even come in two different colors—one on each side of their body.

According to the Maine Lobstermen's Community Alliance, around one out of every two million lobsters may be blue, while the odds of finding a yellow one is around one in 30 million.

White or albino and cotton candy lobsters are the rarest, with the odds of finding one being around one in 100 million.

The color of a lobster is determined by a pigment called astaxanthin, which is naturally red but can appear blue or yellow when it binds to certain proteins.

Usually, the pigments in the various layers of an American lobster's shell produce the aforementioned murky, green-brown color.

But some lobsters have genetic defects, which result in uniquely colored shells. Cotton candy lobsters like the one Coppersmith caught are low in pigments, while albino ones lack any pigments at all.

Coppersmith told Newsweek he had been fishing for lobster for 40 years and had only caught two uniquely colored lobsters before Haddie—an orange one and a white one.

Coppersmith said he had never caught a cotton candy lobster before and that finding one was a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience. The lobsterman named his catch "Haddie" after his granddaughter.

The team at Get Maine Lobster has no plans to sell or cook Haddie. Instead, they are speaking to local organizations and aquariums to see if anyone is willing to adopt her.

Mark Murrell from Get Maine Lobster said in a video post featuring Haddie: "Super, duper excited to show you what is called a cotton candy lobster. It is so rare, there's only one in 100 million caught. Just look how beautiful that lobster is. We're not gonna sell it. We're not gonna cook it. We want to preserve it."

Lobsters that stand out from the crowd may be at a disadvantage, given that their normal coloring helps them blend in with their environment, according to the Maine Lobstermen's Community Alliance.

blue lobsterA rare cotton candy lobster
The rare, cotton candy lobster caught by Bill Coppersmith in Casco Bay, Maine. Get Maine Lobster