Haddie, a cotton-candy colored lobster, is one in a 100 million, and a budding star
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Once upon a time, there was a lobster. She lived at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, trying to blend in. She was blue and pink and practically iridescent - born to shine. Five to seven years, she hit her beauty in her lobster lair, until one day...
BILL COPPERSMITH: We were just hauling along. And we were measuring and picking out lobsters on our strings of traps, and all of a sudden, this glow came up in one of the traps.
SIMON: Bill Coppersmith knew almost immediately he had a true star in his lobster trap.
COPPERSMITH: And then I go, wow, look at that. And I grabbed that lobster. Sure enough, one of my helpers said, gee, that's the color of cotton candy.
SIMON: Bill Coppersmith, who's been a lobsterman for 40 years, had recently pulled up a snake, some paper cups and a credit for BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme music. But he had never seen anything so glorious and mysterious as this radiant lobster.
COPPERSMITH: It's right up there with the "Mona Lisa" - priceless.
SIMON: He named her Haddie, after his 8-year-old granddaughter.
COPPERSMITH: I knew we weren't going to cook it. I just wanted to show it to somebody. We get some pictures when we had a chance. And I sent them to Mark. And I said, hey, look what I'm bringing you.
SIMON: Mark Murrell is the owner of Get Maine Lobster.
COPPERSMITH: He goes, oh - wicked cool, he says
MARK MURRELL: But I was super-duper pumped because, you know, Haddie is like, just gorgeous and rare and unique.
SIMON: He wanted the world to know about Haddie.
MURRELL: So let's blow up the internet. So that was my intention. And the other intention was always to give it to an aquarium because I want - and I'm sure Haddie wants this, too, right?
COPPERSMITH: Oh, yeah.
MURRELL: She wants...
MURRELL: ...Everybody to see her, you know?
SIMON: And Haddie is extraordinary. Statistically, she's a 1 in 100 million lobster.
ROB ROYER: Normally, a lobster has three or four different pigments - so like, red, blue, green.
SIMON: That's Rob Royer, senior aquarist at Seacoast Science Center in New Hampshire.
ROYER: But sometimes there's a genetic deformity. They're deficient in the other proteins that make up, you know, their normal color. So they're just showing one of the pigments, and the other, they're lacking.
SIMON: The blue lobster is missing all the pigments except blue. An albino lobster, the most rare, is missing all of the pigments. Haddie's a kind of cross between a blue lobster and an albino lobster. The Seacoast Science Center is Haddie's his new home. Mark Murrell drove her there yesterday. But they didn't stop for lobster rolls. And Rob Royer says she's settling in.
ROYER: You know, we put her in the tank, and she was already kind of walking around the bottom. And we usually put in, like, a small PVC fitting, and it makes, like, a perfect, nice little cave for lobsters. So when I put that in there, she kind of immediately went, you know, right in and was kind of just hanging out a little bit. So she seems to be doing really well.
SIMON: Rob Royer says Haddie a will soon be plunked into her own personal 50-gallon tank, free of predators and filled with all the squid and shrimp she can eat - Haddie, from bottom-dwelling crustacean to star attraction.
(SOUNDBITE OF THE B-52'S SONG, "ROCK LOBSTER") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.