Consider this a sign that Red Lobster might want to think about changing its name to Orange Lobster.
Last month an ultra-rare orange lobster made headlines around the world when attentive Red Lobster employees in Florida spotted the brightly coloured specimen in their daily live lobster shipment and saved him from becoming a meal.
The lobster, who staff named Cheddar for his one-in-30-million crustaceous colour and as an homage to the chain’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits, was passed on to the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, which promised to study the lobster and give him a good, protected home.
Unbelievably, for the second time in a matter of weeks, another one of the unusual lobsters has been rescued from a Red Lobster — this time in Meridian, Miss.
The best part? They gave him the name Biscuit, to match his friend a few states over.
Biscuit, just like Cheddar, is heading to a Ripley’s Aquarium, this one in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
“With the statistic ‘one-in-30 million’ starting to raise eyebrows, Ripley’s Aquariums is setting out to study these animals and better understand this anomaly,” an Instagram post by Ripley’s Aquarium said.
The museum chain is looking to study what’s causing a sudden spike in orange lobsters.
Jared Durrett, director of husbandry at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, says it’s possible orange lobsters are not quite as rare as animal scientists once believed them to be.
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“Orange lobsters are uncommon but perhaps not as rare as we first thought,” Durrett said in a press release about the discovery, confirming that both Cheddar and Biscuit were caught in the same fishing area.
“Lobsters obtain their color through the pigments they ingest in their 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.”
Nicole Bott, a spokesperson with Red Lobster, says the abnormality seems to be occurring more often and that they’ve heard from their fishermen that “they are seeing a lot of orange lobsters this time of year.”
The Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto is home to at least two orange lobsters who were both rescued from Ontario grocery stores last fall, within weeks of each other.
Pinchy was rescued from an Ajax grocery store in September 2021. Staff told Global News he was being picked on, quite literally, by other lobsters in the tank, who were targeting him for being different.
The other lobster, which appears to remain unnamed, was rescued from a Kincardine, Ont., grocery store a few weeks later, after he was found in a shipment from an Atlantic seafood supplier.