Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why a Lobster Turns Red


Persons living at a remote distance from the natural home of the lobster think that red is the original color of that species of crustacean. The natural hue, however, is green, the beautiful bright brick color being the result of boiling, to which such creatures are subjected. Two explanations for this change in color are given, either of which appears to be tenable: Their shells contain a large per cent of iron, and the boiling process oxidizes that mineral, the change being almost exactly the same as that brought about in burning a brick. Such a change in the color of a lobster's shell can be brought about by the sun's action, but never while the lobster is living. As a rule, however, the sun's bleaching influence consumes the oxide almost as fast as it is formed, leaving the shell pure white.

The second explanation is that the original green color is due to the blue and red pigments, the blue being soluble and the red insoluble in boiling water. When the lobster is boiled, The blue pigment is dissolved, leaving the red to color the creature's shell. — St. Louis Republic.

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