A lucky fisherman in Cornwall has managed to catch a rare blue lobster. However, the man only thought of taking pictures of the crustacean before chucking it back in the sea as he thought it was 'too small' to take it back.
Tom Lambourn, 25, was fishing off the coast of Penzance when he caught the ultra-rare 'one-in-two-million' crustacean in his lobster pot.
However, after taking it out from the sea and taking few pictures the man chucked it out on the sea as it was 'too small to bring into land'.
Tom, from Newlyn, said: "With every pot you never know what is going to be inside, and I've certainly never seen one that colour before.
"This is only my second fishing season so I think I've been very lucky.
"I measured it and it was undersized so there was never any thought of keeping it.
"If it had been bigger, I would have taken it to the National Hatchery.
"I sent them some photos of the lobster and they told me it is one-in-two-million so that is quite special."
The remarkable blue color of the sea animal even left the staff at the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow in Cornwall surprised.
A spokesperson said: "It is a pretty rare colour morph to come across, about one in two million chance, so we were amazed when Tom sent us the photo of it.
"The lobster was too small to bring in to land so was popped back in the sea so it can keep growing.
"Who knew that a crustacean could be so vibrant?"
While Ben Marshall, supervisor at the National Lobster Hatchery, added: "It is very, very rare and very interesting to see a blue lobster.
"The skipper threw it back as it was under the length you are allowed to catch lobsters in Cornwall (12ins).
"Blue lobsters have a different colour pigmentation in their shells which means they find it much harder to camouflage so they get preyed upon, reducing their numbers."
Blue lobsters get their unusual colouring due to a genetic defect that causes them to produce excess levels of a protein that combines with a molecule known as astaxanthin, this creates a blue complex known as crustacyanin."
Only last year in July July, US seafood restaurant Red Lobster saved the life of a blue lobster after staff found it amongst its delivery of the shellfish.
An employee at a Red Lobster branch in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, found the unusual color as he was unloading a delivery and got in touch with conservationists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The lobster now resides at Akron Zoo and was given the name Clawed.