DANVERS — Cherry Street Fish Market owner Darryl Parker has seen a lot of lobsters in his life, but the bright red one his nephew caught on Saturday left him speechless.

He said it looked already cooked but was very much alive.

While lobster fishing on his boat in Beverly Harbor, Parker’s nephew, Rob Oster, hauled up a rare red lobster. 

“He thought someone was playing a joke and put a cooked one in his trap,” said Parker. But then the lobster started moving. 

The catch was unusual, to say the least. Chances of finding a red lobster are around 1 in 30 million, and they rarely, if ever, turn up in Massachusetts, according to the New England Aquarium, which quickly heard of the discovery. The aquarium has a number of colored lobsters but only one red one, which is from Canada.

Lobsters are typically greenish brown to almost black in coloring, which enables them to hide from predators. They only turn red once they’re cooked.

“It looks fake,” added Parker, who’s owned his market for the last 36 years. He’s also caught a rare yellow lobster in the past — one that was half male and half female.

This one, rare red crustacean is now sitting in a private tank at Cherry Street Fish Market, at least until this weekend.

Tony LaCasse, media relations director for the aquarium, said because this red lobster needs to be kept in its own quarantined space, there’s no available space at their location in Boston. But he said they are in contact with aquariums across the country to see if they’re interested.  

“We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope to find a good home for him soon,” LaCasse said.

Staff writer Alyse Diamantides can be reached at 978-338-2660 or adiamantides@salemnews.com.

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