CAPE COD, Mass. -- The summer season is off to a colorful start for one Cape Cod restaurant that received an incredibly rare blue lobster out of the blue earlier this week.
The staff at Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar first shared news of the brilliant blue lobster's arrival on June 8, posting photos from owner Nathan Nickerson III and writing on Facebook that the creature had been caught in the Atlantic and delivered by a supplier.
If you were hoping to score a blue lobster feast, you'll have to settle for feasting just your eyes on the rare creature. The lobster is still alive, and Arnold's is planning to either release it back into the ocean or donate it to an aquarium.
When reached on Facebook, the restaurant said they'd never before seen a blue lobster in person. The University of Maine's Lobster Institute pegs the odds of finding a blue lobster at 1 in 2 million.
"The [blue] coloration comes from a genetic defect that causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein that gives the lobster that unique coloration," the institute explained in a fact sheet about colored lobsters.
In the ocean, lobsters are usually blue-green or brown in color, turning their signature bright red during the cooking process. In addition to blue lobsters, the Lobster Institute is aware of live albino, yellow and brilliant red lobsters, as well as lobsters with calico-patterned and split-color shells.
Among the group of uncommon lobsters, the albino is the rarest: the University of Maine said you've only got a 1-in-100-million chance of finding one.