Essex

Albino lobster on display in Southend is 'one in a million'

Albino lobster Image copyright Sealife Adventure
Image caption The lobster, which has not yet been named, was described by experts as "an oddity"

A "one in a million" albino lobster has become a tourist attraction at an Essex aquarium.

The crustacean was caught off the Dorset coast but was moved to Sea Life Adventure in Southend.

It is thought only one or two albino lobsters have been found in the UK in the last two decades. The invertebrates are usually dark blue in colour.

The lobster is being used for educational activities, demonstrating the "rich diversity" of sea creatures.

Another albino lobster was found by fishermen off the Dorset coast in 2011.

Albinism is caused by low levels of melanin, which means there is a lack of colour pigment.

Image copyright Sealife Adventure
Image caption The invertebrate was found off the Dorset coast but now lives in Southend

Senior aquarist Amelie Brackin said: "Because he is a rarity - and therefore something of an oddity - his albinism allows us to demonstrate the uniqueness of the great many creatures living in our seas."

She said many people assume lobsters are red, as they appear once they have been cooked.

"They're intrigued when they see their true colour is actually dark blue but are even more fascinated to see a white one.

"Although they are extremely rare compared to normal lobsters, albinos are not impossible to find - albeit your chances are approximately a million to one," she added.

The aquarium is asking members of the public to come up with a name for the crustacean.

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