A fisherman named Tom Lambourn got lucky when he pulled out a magnificent rare sea creature in his nets. Lambourn caught an exceptionally rare "one in two million" bright blue lobster off the Cornish coast.
He was left stunned upon opening his lobster pot aboard his boat 'My Lass' and finding the vivid crustacean inside while commercial fishing off Penzance, Cornwall.
The 25-year-old fisherman from Newlyn snapped some incredible photos of the radiant blue, 12-inch European lobster (Latin name Homarus Gammarus) before sending the lobster back to the sea.
The blue lobsters obtain their magnificent colour from a genetic abnormality, which causes an over-production of the protein crustacyanin.
Several fishermen who had the rare opportunity to come across one believe it to be a sign of good luck.
Even though lobsters are generally brown or grey in colour to provide camouflage against the rocky sea bed, the blue lobster will also turn bright red when cooked.
"With every pot, you never know what is going to be inside, and I've certainly never seen one that colour before. This is only my second fishing season, so I think I've been very lucky. I measured it, and it was undersized, so there was never any thought of keeping it. If it had been bigger, I would have taken it to the National Hatchery," Tom explained.
"I sent them some photos of the lobster, and they told me it is one in two million, so that is quite special," said Tom.
A spokesman for the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, Cornwall, said "It is a pretty rare colour morph to come across, about one in two million chance, so we were amazed when Tom sent us the photo of it".
Tom said that "The lobster was too small to bring in to land, so was popped back in the sea so it can keep growing. Who knew that a crustacean could be so vibrant?"
The National Lobster Hatchery supervisor, Ben Marshall, added that "It is very, very rare and very interesting to see a blue lobster. The skipper threw it back as it was under the length you are allowed to catch lobsters in Cornwall. Blue lobsters have a different colour pigmentation in their shells, which means they find if much harder to camouflage, so they get preyed upon, reducing their numbers."