Red Lobster Rescues An Incredibly Rare Orange Version Of Its Namesake - For The Second Time

For the second time in just two years — and in company history — Red Lobster unboxed a rare orange lobster from a shipment received in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Skarlett, an employee who has been with the seafood chain for nearly 30 years, discovered the lobster, which was appropriately named Scarlett. According to a press release from the chain, the bright and beautiful lobster was sent to Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where it will live out its days with the previously found orange lobster, Cheddar.

Cheddar, the lobster named after Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits, was discovered in a Florida shipment. Since its arrival at Ripley's Aquarium, it's garnered an overwhelming amount of attention from curious crustacean lovers. "[The lobster's arrival is] bringing attention to her species so we can tell the message of conservation things all about lobsters," the location's Director of Animal Husbandry, Stacia White, told WMBF News when it was put on display in January. Finding the lobster has led many to wonder why these creatures are so rare, and what causes their unique color in the first place.

The color is the result of a gene mutation

Orange lobsters, like the ones discovered at Red Lobster, are a one-in-30-million find, explaining why the company didn't choose to serve them like intended. According to Jared Durrett, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies Director of Husbandry, the bright orange color is a result of a lobster's diet. "If these orange lobsters are being harvested from the same region, perhaps their localized diet contains a pigment that, when paired with the lobster's genetics, creates the orange coloration we are seeing," he said. He also revealed that these rare findings are occurring more and more often over time. Apparently, the vivid color of an orange lobster makes it more susceptible to being hunted. Ripley's Aquarium thankfully posted a video to TikTok so fans can see the impressive (and rare) hue for themselves.


Say "shell-o" to Scarlett, our new, one-in-30-million, orange lobster!   Like her new neighbor Cheddar, Scarlett comes to us from @Red Lobster. Hailing from Hot Springs, Arkansas, Scarlett is named after the Red Lobster employee who discovered her, Skarlett! In Skarlett's 28 years of working at the restaurant, this is the first orange lobster she's ever seen!   Scarlett will soon be joining Cheddar, who recently had her first molt since being in her new home at Ripley's—revealing an even brighter orange shell!   Join us in shell-ebrating Scarlett's arrival next time you visit Ripley's Aquarium of Myrtle Beach! #RedLobster #orangelobster #rarelobster #lobster #aquarium #myrtlebeach #ripleysaquariums #ripleysaquarium #ripleysaquariummyrtlebeach

♬ rainydays – skxllflower

Markus Frederich, a professor at University of New England's marine science center, told CNN that these gene mutations can also result in numerous other colors — even blue. In July 2020, a Red Lobster employee found one of these as well, which was named Clawdia and shipped to an Ohio zoo for safekeeping.