Giant Lobster

Darren asks, is this real?

I can't name the species (any ideas, Big Gary?), but it doesn't look implausible to me. So I'm going to say, Yes, it's probably real. But I won't upgrade that to definitely real until someone can identify the species.


Update: It's a model of an ancient sea scorpion (a eurypterid from the Ordovician era) made by Crawley Creatures for the BBC show Sea Monsters. The man posing with the model is the founder of Crawley Creatures, Jez Gibson-Harris.

I should note that the picture, in its original context, was not fake. It only became misleading once it was removed from this context and the creature was mistaken for a living specimen.

Thanks to Aryn, Andrew, and Big Gary for the quick identification.


Posted on Thu Nov 13, 2008


I have heard that, like turtles, lobsters don't die of old age and that they never stop growing, so it could easily be real.
Posted by obi1kenobi1  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  06:17 PM
Nope, it's fake. What he's holding is clearly a replica of a eurypterid, an ancient chelicerate (ancestor or scorpions, etc) from the Paleozoic era. I stand by my judgment!
Posted by Aryn  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  06:37 PM
Here's a picture, just for clarification.

The eurypterid is also known as the "sea scorpion" and they could grow up to fifty feet in length. Scary stuff, I'd say, but unfortunately, long extinct.
Posted by Aryn  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  06:41 PM
The source of the replica can be found at:
Posted by Andrew  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  06:52 PM
I think Aryn and Andrew nailed it. It's a model of a eurypterid.

There certainly are lobsters that big, and as Obilkenobil said, such whopping crustaceans are invariably very old (20 to 100 or more years old), but no modern crustacean that I know of resembles the one in the picture.

The common lobsters of restaurants, Homarus americanus, Homarus vulgaris, and related species, have large front claws that this animal lacks. Spiny lobsters (which some people would not class as true lobsters) lack the enlarged claws, but both they and Homarus lobsters have fan-like tails, not the shield-shaped tail we see here. Also, the aforementioned lobsters have body segments that taper much less from front to back, and less dome-shaped cephalothoractic structures, than the ones on the eupterid model.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  07:14 PM
The sea scorpion is the official fossil here in New York State. Late one summer, after heavy rains up here in the Hudson Valley, I stumbled across a real live scorpion dragging itself along the utility clearance, probably in search of dryer ground. It was only two thirds the length of my hand but the shell resembled that of the sea scorpion in color and sheen. Its pincers were black though, and of unequal size.
Posted by andychrist  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  08:07 PM
Heh. When that picture popped up on my screen, I said to myself, "That looks like an Ordovician sea scorpion!" And I was hoping that the article would be about a colony of them being found, like the coelacanths.

Then I saw the "Fake" label, and read the article.


Oh well. I'm still holding out for some lost tribe of trilobites lurking in the ocean depths, though. . .
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  09:04 PM
I completely agree. I'm one of those crazies who seriously believes there are still trilobites somewhere....
Posted by Aryn  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  09:29 PM
Yep that's a sea scorpion alright.
Posted by Franklin  on  Sat Nov 15, 2008  at  07:05 AM
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