Chances are, you already know how deliciously decadent lobster tail can be. But besides having the uncanny ability to turn any meal into an extra-special occasion, there are several other facts about everyone’s favorite crustacean that we’re willing to bet you don’t know. Luckily, we’re here to shed a little light on one of the sea’s best-kept secrets.
Here are six surprising facts about lobsters to stump your guests at your next dinner party:
Yep, you heard right. Humans aren’t the only ones who like the taste of lobster. In certain conditions, lobsters have been known to become cannibalistic and turn on fellow lobsters that have recently molted and lost their hard outer shell. While this is most likely to happen in captivity, a researcher also witnessed the same outcome during a particularly abundant lobster boom in Maine back in 2012. Yikes.
They taste with their legs and chew with their stomachs.
Lobsters have chemosensory hairs on their legs and feet that allow them to smell and taste their food. And while they don’t have teeth in their mouths, they do have three molar-like teeth in their stomach — called the “gastric mill” — that allow them to chew their food.
Their claws are strong.
You likely already knew you didn’t want to be pinched by a lobster claw, but did you know just how strong they actually are? An adult lobster can exert up to 100 pounds of pressure per square inch with their pinchers — ouch!
You can make golf balls out of their shells.
In an effort to make biodegradable golf balls, a professor from the University of Maine developed a golf ball made of lobster shells, ideal for cruise ship golfers. While the driving distance of a lobster shell golf ball isn’t quite up to par (pun intended) with conventional golf balls, the repurposing of shells does ensure balls hit into the ocean will degrade much, much faster.
They can regenerate their legs and claws.
If a lobster loses a leg or claw, they can regenerate the limb over time. In fact, lobsters have been known to amputate their own limbs when trapped. While it can take many years to fully regenerate, the regrowth is possible. If only humans had the same superpower...
No one knows for sure how long lobsters live.
Though there have been rumors that lobsters can live forever, it would be more accurate to say they just have really long lifespans when not brought down by disease, capture or attack. However, getting older doesn’t actually increase their chance of dying, and a lobster caught in 2009 was estimated to be about 140 years old.
Clearly, lobsters are more than just a delicious meal — and it’s not difficult to see why they have captured the interest of sailors and chefs for so many years. So, next time you’re settling in for a romantic lobster dinner, don’t forget to lighten the mood by sharing one of the above lesser-known lobster facts. Just maybe save the cannibalism talk for after you’ve finished eating.Start shopping for your next feast — get your Northern Australia lobster tails right here.