In Newport, Rhode Island, a local lobsterman named Patrick Marks stumbled across the first physical evidence of something I have long suspected — that lobsters are arming themselves for war against their human oppressors.
But on Monday morning, he pulled something from his trap he never expected — a four-clawed lobster. “It’s a one in a million type of thing,” Marks said. “I doubt I’ll ever see another one.”
Conventionally, lobsters have one large “crusher” claw and one “pincher.” In this case, the female lobster Marks trapped has three pincher claws on her right side. “None of the guys had seen one either,” Marks said. “I showed it to everyone. Nobody could believe it. You have three pinchers, and they all work.”
At Universal Hub, they are calling this a “sign from the sea gods.” But I see things much differently. For years, we humans have feasted on the sweet, buttery flesh of these bottom-dwelling creatures. And like their cousins the cockroach (it’s true, look it up), lobsters are evolving to survive in a harsh environment.
In this case, that means growing extra arms to avenge the deaths of their family members in cook pots from New England to southern New England.
The picture above purports to be the best official image of the four-clawed beast, but I think my representation below is more true to the danger we now face every time we don a silly bib and prepare to crack into some carapace:
Four-clawed lobster snared, released [Newport Daily News]
A sign from the sea gods! [Universal Hub]
Late yesterday we received a warning that is bound to make Father Scott’s beard fall right the fuck off — the Food and Drug Administration says eating Maine lobsters can kill you.
OK that’s not exactly the story. The story is that state and local officials in Massachusetts and New Hampshire have discovered high levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) in tomalley from American (aka Maine) lobsters.
Oh yeah, tomalley is that green shit inside the lobster. Don’t eat that green shit:
The FDA advisory applies only to tomalley, the soft, green substance found in the body cavity of the lobster that functions as the liver and pancreas. Cooking does not eliminate the PSP toxins. However, studies have shown that, even when high levels of PSP toxins are present in lobster tomalley, lobster meat itself is typically unaffected.
My globally-renowned scientific acumen tells me that if the toxins are so weak that they can affect one part of the lobster’s body while sparing the others, they present little danger to humans. Let’s take a closer look at what PSP does to you:
Symptoms of PSP include tingling and/or numbness of the mouth, face or neck; muscle weakness; headache; and nausea. In extreme cases, when large amounts of the toxin are consumed, these symptoms can lead to respiratory failure and death. Symptoms usually occur within two hours of exposure to the toxin. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention.
OK, really — don’t eat that green shit!
FDA Advises Against Consumption of American Lobster (Maine Lobster) Tomalley [FDA.gov]