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Rare ‘cotton candy’ Lobster found in Maine

Only 1 in 100 million lobsters are estimated to have the rare blue and pink pigments.

A 'cotton candy' lobster was found by Get Maine Lobster in Casco Bay. Get Maine Lobster

A rare blue and pink pigmented lobster — referred to as a “cotton candy lobster” for its resemblance to the fluffy food’s color — was found on Friday in Casco Bay, Maine by a lobsterman for Get Maine Lobster.

“We were just hauling – as I’ve done for the last 40 years – and we just came across some lobsters in some traps… and there was a strange color in the trap,” lobsterman Bill Coppersmith said. “Didn’t know if it was a toy lobster or what the heck it was.”

National Geographic estimates only 1 in 100 million lobsters are cotton candy-colored, making lobsterman Coppersmith’s catch off the coast of Portland an extremely rare find.

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“There’s an amazing color of the shell. If you rotate her in the light it’s like a gem,” Mark Murrell, founder, CEO, and Chief Curator of Get Maine Lobster said. “It’s like if you were looking at a beautiful gem. Her shell is like the inside of an oyster — it’s pearlish.”

Coppersmith — who has been a lobsterman for over 40 years — named the lobster “Haddie” after his 8-year-old granddaughter.

Cotton Candy lobsters get their unique color from genetic mutations. National Geographic reports a lobster’s “unusual diet” may also create the unique hues.

Haddie is a female lobster and probably around 7 years old, according to Murrell. She is now being kept in a tank at Get Maine Lobster until they can find a local aquarium or sanctuary to adopt Haddie.

Murrell said he had never seen — much less held — a cotton candy lobster before finding Haddie. Coppersmith and his crew had also never caught a cotton candy lobster.

“I work with a couple hundred [lobstermen],” Murrell said. “But I don’t know anybody directly who has ever caught a cotton.”

A Rainbow of Lobster

“I was excited about it too. It’s not the first rare lobster that I caught, but it’s not something that they catch on a yearly basis,” Coppersmith said.

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This is Coppersmith’s third rare lobster: in 1997 he caught a white lobster and a few years ago he caught an orange one. He named the orange lobster “Eli” after his grandson.

“I got three grandkids so I got to do one more rare lobster,” Coppersmith said. “I gotta get another one for my grandson, Liam. I don’t know, maybe purple this time?”

“Bill’s stoic,” Murrell said. “The only thing Bill wanted was to make sure that she was named Haddie and that everybody knew that it was Haddie after his granddaughter.”

Coppersmith said his granddaughter was “really excited to have a rare lobster named after her.” He added that he may bring it by Haddie’s school for her class to see.

Meanwhile, Murrell is now taking care of Haddie until she is adopted. He said he has had people come in to see and take pictures of the rare lobster and even his mom is coming by tomorrow to see it in person.

“I just think that it’s awesome what mother nature can do,” Murrell said. “To present us with such a gift.”

“It was fun catching this one,” Coppersmith said. “I don’t know what the ocean will give me next, but it always gives me some sort of a prize.”

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