When the staff of Red Lobster restaurant in Hollywood, Florida, opened a recent shipment of live lobsters, they instantly discovered that one of the crustaceans was not like the others. Although most lobster shells are a mottled brownish-green, one of their new arrivals was a vivid orange, according to a report in Newsweek.
Instead of cooking the orange lobster, restaurant workers opted to save it and named it Cheddar, after restaurant's famed Cheddar Bay Biscuits.
Cheddar was transferred this week to Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where it will be able to live comfortably for the rest of its life.
The crustacean was characterised as a "one in 30 million" lobster by the eatery. These bright orange lobsters are quite unusual. The colour is unusual for the species because it draws the attention of predators in the wild, the outlet further said.
According to Fox News, the orange lobster was described as an "ordinary miracle" by Mario Roque, a manager at the Red Lobster restaurant who assisted in Cheddar's rescue.
"A group of incredible people helped us make this possible," Roque said in a statement.
"We are so honored to have been able to save Cheddar and find her a good home," he added.
While it is difficult to determine without inspecting the lobster itself, Dr Charlotte E Davies, fisheries research officer at the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and marine ecosystem specialist, told Newsweek that "there are various theories" on why some develop with varied colour variants.
"The main theories would be a genetic mutation, causing a missing or added protein in the shell. Lobster coloration is determined by proteins in the lobster carapace, or shell. Two of these proteins are astaxanthin, which when isolated, is orange/red, and crustacyanin, a complex which is blue," Davies said.