Contest uncovers lobsters with extra claws, blue shells, dog-sized girth

An unusual contest has uncovered dozens of bizarre lobsters found in the waters of Canada’s East Coast — including blue ones, three-clawed ones, and even one as big as a beagle.

Fishermen have submitted photos of about 75 lobsters to a “Craziest Lobster” contest on the Facebook page of Murray GM, a car dealership in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Billy Mole, the dealership’s marketing manager, said the big trend among entrants is blue — about 17 entrants are blue, including one that is almost luminescent — and deformed claws.

“I’ve heard the saying that a blue lobster is one in a million, so to have such a strong blue lobster presence is definitely intriguing,” he said Wednesday.

“We’re also seeing a big trend with deformation of the claws — a lot of deformed claws, or that have extra arms. I think there’s one in there that has a whole extra functioning arm with a functioning claw attached to it.”

The lobster with the most likes when the contest closes on Dec. 31 wins a $250 prize.

“We’ve definitely seen some pretty big lobsters — there’s one in there of a gentleman holding one and it’s pretty close to the size of his upper torso. That lobster is bigger than some dogs I’ve seen,” Mole said.

It’s the contest’s second year; Mole said last year was such a hit that it prompted them to make it an annual thing, even though he admits he’s not sure it has helped the dealership sell any more cars.

Last year’s contest page had nearly a million engagements for its 205 lobsters, including entries from Hawaii, Ecuador and Tanzania, and drew the attention of at least one scientist interested in what the competition revealed about lobster populations.

There are fewer entries this year, with all appearing to be from Atlantic Canada. Mole’s only requirement: that they were harvested in 2017.

Among the entrants: several lobsters that are half-red and half-blue, the two colours meeting in a straight line along the crustaceans’ backs. Mole said some commenters wondered if they hadn’t been half-cooked, but noted they were photographed while still on fishing boats.

Other lobsters are various shades of yellow, black, bright red or multiple colours. Some have asymmetrical claws, or extra pincers. In one case, a lobster’s shell is too small, revealing its innards.

“We’ve had a few where it’s almost like I’m not even sure if I should post it,” said Mole. “There’s one where you can almost see some of the lobster’s, like, guts. I’m not sure what’s going on in that picture, but it’s definitely a little disturbing.”

He added with a laugh: “I’ve had one that I couldn’t post, where someone sent a lobster that was very well-endowed. I decided not to post that one.”

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