In June 2012, the crew of the Pot Luck fishing boat caught a rare blue lobster off the coast of Maryland. Named Toby, the oddity is now living at the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C.


American lobsters, like Toby, are usually either olive-green or greenish-brown. Sometimes they will have orange, reddish, dark green, or black speckles and bluish colors near their joints, but it is rare to find a lobster that is completely blue. A blue lobster like Toby is caused by a genetic problem. The lobster's body makes too much of a certain protein, which turns its shell blue.

  • Lobsters turn bright red only after they have been cooked. While they are living, most lobsters are either olive-green or greenish-brown. Sometimes lobsters will have orange, reddish, dark green, or black speckles and bluish colors in the joints of their appendages.
  • Blue lobsters occur about one in every 2 million lobsters. As is the case with most oddly colored lobsters, the blue coloring is caused by a genetic defect.
  • One out of every thirty million lobsters is yellow.
  • Some lobsters are naturally bright red before they have been cooked. Bright red lobsters occur one out of every ten million lobsters.
  • Lobsters can be more than one color. One in every fifty million lobsters is a split-colored lobster, or lobster that is two distinct colors. These two colors can be split down the middle of the lobster or in a checkerboard pattern.
  • Crystal lobsters, or albino lobsters, are lobsters that do not have any pigment. They are the only lobsters that do not turn red when they are boiled. Instead, these lobsters keep their clear coloring giving them their "crystal" name. Albino lobsters occur only one in a hundred million lobsters.

an organism with little or no pigmentation.


edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.


having to do with genes, inherited characteristics or heredity.


large marine crustacean, often caught for food.


material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light.


one of many complex compounds, made of chains of amino acids, that make up the majority of all cellular structures and are necessary for biological processes.


unusual or uncommon.