California spiny lobster pays tribute to Tim Burton

Rescued California spiny lobster

Since my favorite California spiny lobster passed away this spring, there has been a lot of extra space in Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s lobster tank. But that available real estate is quickly disappearing with the addition of two lobsters.

A fisherman recently donated a 10.5 pound California spiny lobster. Not as big as the tank’s former massive 14-pound resident, but a pretty good size nonetheless. And someone found an injured California spiny lobster in San Pedro harbor and brought it to the Aquarium for safekeeping.

The injured lobster survived some sort of crazy encounter and has the battle scars to prove it. A leg is missing on the right side and as you can see from the picture, something happened to the right eye. Instead of a beady-black eye, the lobster has a whacky orange thing sticking out. I’m guessing that’s the nerve that used to be behind the eye and is now just hanging loose.

This crippled lobster must have a fascinating story to tell. Was it attacked? How did it survive? And how did it end up in San Pedro Harbor? If only the lobster could explain.

With such a strange eye injury, this lobster could make a great Tim Burton character. The crazy orange thing sticking out where the eye should be reminds me of “The Boy With Nails In His Eyes” in “The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories” by Tim Burton. Hhmm, I’ll have to spend some time thinking of a good name…

In the meantime, it’s great to welcome new lobsters to the tank, now it doesn’t look so empty.

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