Everyone loves lobster. A little butter, a little candlelight, yum! But, have you ever wondered about the secret life of this tasty crustacean? Here are 50 fun facts you probably never knew about the lowly lobster.
Lobsters were once considered the poor man’s chicken. In Colonial times, it was fed to pigs and goats and only eaten by paupers.
Lobsters aren’t red. They turn red when cooked, but in nature they can be green or yellow or even bright blue.
Lobster fishermen throw back lobsters that are too small and lobsters that are too big. The small ones need to grow, while the large ones add vigour to the gene pool.
When lobsters mate, the eggs aren’t fertilized right away. The female carries the male’s sperm and chooses when to fertilize her eggs.
Lobsters shed their shells, or molt.
A female lobster can only mate just after she has molted.
Lobsters can swim forward and backward. When they’re alarmed, they scoot away in reverse by rapidly curling and uncurling their tails.
Because its nervous system is similar to that of grasshoppers and ants, lobsters are sometimes called “bugs.”
When food is scarce, lobsters can turn cannibal and dine on smaller lobsters.
Lobsters reproduce by laying lobster eggs. The eggs are carried by the female until they’re ready to hatch.
Lobster eggs are called roe, just like fish eggs.
Slaves sometimes dined like kings, often eating lobster because it was plentiful and cheap.
Lobsters are usually caught in an underwater trap called a “lobster pot,” baited with dead fish.
Lobsters usually feed on bottom dwellers like clams, snails, and crabs.
Lobsters live in the murk and mud at the bottom of the ocean.
Lobsters can grow up to four feet long and weigh as much as 40 pounds.
It is believed that lobsters can live as long as 100 years.
Lobsters have a crusher claw and a pincer claw; some lobsters have the crusher claw on the right side and others have it on the left.
Native Americans ate lobsters after wrapping them in seaweed and baking them over hot rocks.
Lobster meat is a great source of protein, providing 28 grams of protein per cup.
Lobsters are a great source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
If you hold the butter, lobsters aren’t fattening. Three and a half ounces only have 96 calories and about two grams of fat.
Lobsters are considered marine crustaceans along with shrimp, krill, and barnacles.
Lobsters were once so plentiful that after a storm they would wash ashore in deep piles.
Lobsters were originally gathered by hand. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that lobster trapping became popular.
Soft-shelled lobster is considered to have sweeter, more tender meat.
A soft-shelled lobster is one that has just molted and is in a growing phase.
Soft-shelled lobsters are called “shedders.”
Hard-shelled lobsters have darker claws than the soft-shelled ones.
Even full-grown lobsters can fall prey to codfish and the occasional octopus.
Lobsters have poor eyesight, but have highly developed senses of smell and taste.
It’s not illegal to hunt lobsters at night with a flashlight, but the limit you can take is seven.
Lobsters can be grown on farms.
Lobster blood is not red like ours; it’s clear.
When cooked, lobster blood turns into a whitish gel.
A lobster will, quite literally, drown in fresh water.
Lobsters have teeth in their stomachs.
The lobster’s voice is a crackly noise some people compare to violins.
It’s a myth that lobsters scream when you put them in hot water – they have no lungs and no vocal cords.
A one-pound lobster should be cooked for about 15 minutes.
Lobster steamed in beer is delicious. A pilsner or lager is the best choice
Some states allow commercial fisherman to use as many as 800 lobster pots.
The design of the lobster pot has not changed much in the last 200 years.
It is illegal to boil lobsters in some places, such as the village of Reggio Emilia in Italy.
Grilled lobster tails are a true delicacy.
There is meat in lobster legs. Bite down hard and you can suck it out.
Lobsters use their three pairs of antennas as sensors.
The black line you see on the lobster’s tail is unfertilized eggs; you can eat them.
The tomalley is not the lobster’s liver, it’s part of the digestive tract.
The tomalley turns green when cooked; some people considered it a delicacy.