Fleeting Wonders: A 4-Clawed Lobster Named Clawdette - Atlas Obscura
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Fleeting Wonders: A 4-Clawed Lobster Named Clawdette

She’s the Edward Scissorhands of the lobster world.

On the whole, this lobster is pretty average: stalk eyes, long antennae, a bumpy tail. In part, though, she’s somewhat overequipped. On her left front side, she sports three pinchers, perfectly formed and splayed out like a Swiss Army Knife.

This extra-snappy crustacean, which was caught in Nova Scotia, was pulled out of a shipment at Ready Seafood Co. in Portland, Maine, the Associated Press reports. Ready Seafood’s in-house biologist, Curt Brown, was flummoxed, saying the lobster was a first in his decade-long career, and that his wife has named her ”Clawdette.” 

There are many ways for a lobster to be weird. Genetic anomalies can make shells blue, yellow, orange, or even rainbow. Extra claws are likely a result of crossed wires while molting, veterinarian Bob Bayer told Bangor Daily News in 2014. If a lobster gets into a fight and bangs up a claw just before it sheds and regrows its shell, it may generate a whole new pincher. 

Clawdette is to be turned over to the state’s Department of Marine Resources, where she may join a friend caught in 2012. Brown says her enhanced weaponry indirectly saved it from a chewier fate: ”If this lobster had two normal claws, it would’ve ended up down Commercial Street or somewhere in Shanghai,” he said.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.