An incredibly rare sea creature was saved from the jaws of death after restaurant workers were struck with its unusual color and called experts for a second opinion.
A bright orange lobster arrived in a shipment at a Red Lobster restaurant in Hollywood, Florida, where an alternative universe would have seen it cooked on a plate.
But this one in particular was saved from becoming someone’s date night dinner when staffers noted her unusual golden coloring.
They called Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, who sent two members of its husbandry team to inspect the crustacean. Sure enough, they identified her as an orange lobster—a one in 30 million find.
“Sometimes ordinary miracles happen, and Cheddar is one of them,” said Mario Roque, a manager at Red Lobster who led the rescue of Cheddar, in the release. “A group of incredible people helped us make this possible. We are so honored to have been able to save Cheddar and find her a good home.”
The restaurant admitted they were incredibly proud of Mario for recognizing and ultimately rescuing her.
It’s now found a forever home at the aquarium, whose staff said they are grateful the Red Lobster team recognized how special she was. She was named “Cheddar” after Red Lobster’s famous Cheddar Bay Biscuits.
“Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is honored to become Cheddar’s forever home,” said the aquarium in a statement emailed to CNN. “Though the odd and unusual are a part of everyday life here at Ripley’s, orange lobsters like Cheddar are truly one in 30 million.”
Red Lobster is on the front line of rescuing fantastically rare lobsters. In 2021, restaurant workers at their location in GNN’s birth place of Manassas, Virginia, rescued another rare mutant known as a calico lobster, which they also said were born at a rate of 1 in 30 million.
This one was a male, and called Freckles.
“Calico-colored lobsters like Freckles are so rare because their coloring makes them very visible and thus vulnerable to predators,” the Red Lobster spokesperson said. “Because a calico-colored lobster is so rare and vulnerable in the wild, it was important that we found him a good home versus setting him free in the wild where he likely would not survive.”
They contacted the Akron Zoo, who transferred the restaurant’s inquiry to the Living Museum in Virginia, which arrived days later to take Freckles to their Chesapeake Bay Gallery.
“We hope Freckles brings lots of joy to guests of the museum and lives a long and wonderful life,” the spokesperson said.