This Explanation Of Why Lobsters Are Basically Immortal And Don’t Die Of Old Age Is Blowing My Mind

three lobsters

iStockphoto / mchebby


Lobster is one of my favorite foods on the planet but we’re not here today to talk about how delicious they are when dipped in lemon butter. We’re here to talk about how lobster as a species made a deal with the devil to live forever but somehow got a shitty deal, kind of like in the movies when a genie grants a wish but the genie takes the wish too literally and it ends up working out poorly for the person holding the magic lamp.

I’ve always known that lobsters can live over 100+ years but I never know how they could live that long, or that it was actually pretty normal for them to live that long unless life threw obstacles at them. This thread on Twitter from a biologist explains how lobsters are basically capable of living forever because they never die of old age, but they end up dying because entropy is a bitch. This explanation dives deep into the science of why lobsters live forever and for that reason, it’s pretty awesome. There are 19 tweets in this thread so strap in:

I’m still fixated on how they mentioned the largest lobster ever recorded was a 44-pounder caught in 1977 that was estimated to be 140-years-old. That means the lobster was born sometime around 1837, that was 28 YEARS BEFORE Abraham Lincoln died. I also cannot fathom what a 44-pound lobster would look like. The largest lobster I’ve ever seen in person was this 15-pounder in Chinatown a few years ago and it was a fucking behemoth:

Now, if you’re looking for some ‘rare lobster‘ news you can check out this story about a yellow lobster that was found this week that’s 30 million-to-1 in the wild.