When I began researching the beautiful yellow lobster we later named Libbie, I found articles that reported she was 1 in 30 million, others that said 1 in 20 million. I learned that other lobsters are quite rare too. For example, albino lobsters are the most rare, next are the yellow, followed by calico, blue and even a rare two-toned lobster.
So I began to wonder, What causes this anomaly? And, If so many are found, then why are they rare at all?
As with all life it seems, the color of a lobster is determined by both genetics and environment. Slight genetic mutations occur throughout nature. Libbie was likely a result of this sort of mutation. But environment can also play a role. Because yellow lobsters seem to be found in certain common areas along the coast, it has been hypothesized that certain algae could be the culprit.
As to my second thought above, I had difficulty understanding the idea that Libbie is so very rare because she is 1 in 30 million! How many lobsters are there anyway and what does the number 30 million lobsters look like?
Then I thought of an analogy. A friend, who is an airline pilot told me once, that flying is really a very safe mode of transportation. She told me that when a plane crashes, it makes front page news because it is such a rare event. For as many planes as are flying at any one time, when a plane crashes is an anomaly, she told me.
All I know for certain is that when I laid eyes on the beautiful golden-yellow lobster in the Publix Supermarket tank, I fell in love. She was special, unique, an enigma, and I wanted to save her. Thank you Libbie the Rare Yellow Lobster for coming into my life.
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