This 'Once-In-A-Lifetime' Cotton Candy Lobster Was Just Found In Maine

Ah, lobster: From a simply boiled whole crustacean to creamy lobster stew to indulgent lobster rolls, this is a deluxe — and pricey — ingredient with which many of us like to spoil ourselves when possible.

Once upon a time, lobsters were considered poor man's food. According to Spoon University, back in colonial times, there were so many lobsters in the sea — and they so closely resembled cockroaches, according to colonists — that this cheap and readily available form of protein was used to feed prisoners, apprentices, and the enslaved, as well as serving as fertilizer and bait for more prized fish. Over time, however, lobster's popularity grew, and by the 1880s, restaurants were charging a pretty penny for the shellfish.

Today, consumer demand for lobsters continues to soar (via Detroit News), with the majority of United States-fished lobsters coming from Maine (via Atwood Lobster). Recently, a fisherman in that state pulled a rare creature from his lobster trap: a so-called "cotton candy" lobster whose coloring is so unusual that hardly any humans have ever seen it.

Cotton candy lobsters are one in 100 million

If you've ever indulged in fresh lobster, you know that these crustaceans tend to be a dull green-brown when alive, turning bright orange-red once they're cooked (via Newsweek). More rarely, American lobsters can sport differently colored shells ranging from blue to yellow to white. According to Newsweek, the chances of a fisherman trapping a yellow lobster, for example, are about one in 30 million. But over the weekend, Maine lobsterman Bill Coppersmith found an even rarer creature in his lobster trap.

According to Newsweek, Coppersmith trapped a "cotton candy" lobster, characterized by an iridescent, bright blue shell. This particular coloring is so rare in American lobsters that the chances of finding one among its duller counterparts is estimated to be about one in 100 million. Coppersmith nicknamed the lobster Haddie, after his granddaughter, and this lucky shellfish won't get cooked or eaten: Get Maine Lobster, the company which Coppersmith supplies, is in talks with local organizations and aquariums to see if any of them will adopt this unicorn of lobsters (via Newsweek).

In a video featuring Haddie (posted on YouTube), Mark Murrell from Get Maine Lobster commented, "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." Long live Haddie the lobster!