This lobster, dubbed Calvin, was headed for the dinner plate—by way of a pot of boiling water—only to be saved because he looked nifty. Ahhh, the capricious nature of humans.
According to an NPR story, this spotted pattern isn't even the most unusual lobster coloration out there. White lobsters are even more rare. They can also, apparently, come in a sort of Miller Lite-can blue.
And they make great pets:
... Gérard de Nerval, the French artist who famously kept a pet lobster, which he named Thibault. He reportedly walked the crustacean in the gardens of the Palais-Royal, on a leash. And he gave a convincing explanation for his choice in non-human companions.
"I have affection for lobsters," Nerval said. "They are tranquil, serious and they know the secrets of the sea."
NPR can point you toward a Harper's article that offers evidence for Thibault's actual existence. I will say this: As a former employee of Red Lobster, the leashed lobster story sounds entirely believable to me. I have personal experience racing lobsters and teaching them to stand on their heads.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.