22 Dec 2006

The Glass Lobster

Dear Blue Lobster:

i heard someone is selling glass lobsters. can you help me before christmas please my wife will kill me and i think it would make a great tankmate for my cray

thanks
carlos

Dear Gentle Sir:

The Glass Lobster you refer to is one of the rarest invertebrates in the world with a population of under ten thousand living in the benthic depths of the Indian Ocean.

The first specimen was discovered in 1889 by German biologist Dr. Friederich Hummer on an expedition to survey prawn popluations near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Examining a catch on a local fishing vessel, he noticed what he first thought to be an oversized shrimp. He preserved the creature for study and later, after having collected several more specimens, submitted his research for the Homarus albus, or White Lobster.

Because specimens to this point had all been found dead, their flesh had turned white, obscuring their translucency. It was only decades later, with the advent of SCUBA, that a live specimen was photographed and found to be translucent. The name was subsequently changed to Homarus vitreus, Latin for "Glass Lobster."

Due to the Glass Lobster's deep-sea habitat, live specimens are difficult to keep in captivity for any length of time. It is also illegal to farm, poach, or otherwise collect Glass Lobsters for anything other than scientific study due to their suspected low population numbers. In other words, Glass Lobsters are not going to inhabit anyone's aquarium grottos any time soon.

To console you and your wife in this holiday season, I do suggest the next best thing: Taf Lebel Schaefer's Lobster, a beautiful piece done in glass and silver, that retails for a reasonable $3,700. It's sure to add class and sparkle to any crystal or glass collection or, if you can't resist, your aquarium.

Happy holidays!