Blue _lobster _2014_08_27
Scientists estimate that only around one in two million lobsters has this bright blue colouring. Image: Miss Meghan's Lobster Catch

A lobster's not the sort of creature that normally grabs news headlines, but this one is no ordinary crustacean. Caught by the teenage daughter of a fisherman in Maine in the US, this rare blue lobster certainly doesn't resemble the rest of its drab-coloured kind.

A specimen like this one surfaces, well, once in a blue moon. Scientists estimate that only around one in two million has this colouring. According to the University of Maine Lobster Institute, the unique colouration comes from a genetic defect that causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein, resulting in the distinctive bright blue hue.

But rare as blue lobsters may seem, they're certainly not the record-holders when it comes to lobster rarity. In fact, there's a veritable rainbow of rare lobsters out there, including yellow lobsters (one in 30 million) and split-coloured ones, with half the body being orange and half being brown (one in 50 million). 

As for the Maine find, the chromatic curiosity will not face a lobster's usual dinnerplate fate; instead, it's been nicknamed 'Skyler' and will get to live out the rest of its days at the Maine State Aquarium, where it'll no doubt keep company with the aquarium's other resident rare lobsters, including three blue ones.

Top header image: gravity_grave, Flickr