A lobster found off the coast of New Brunswick in Canada seems to have the blue, white, and red imprint of the Pepsi logo on its claw.
Photo by Karissa Lindstrand
“I can’t say how he got it on,” said Karissa Lindstrand, the person who was the first to notice the lobster’s strange markings. “It seemed more like a tattoo or a drawing on the lobster rather than something growing into it.” Lindstrand was banding lobster claws on a fishing vessel named the Honor Bound when she saw the lobster claw with what looked like a blue, white, and red tattoo. Lindstrand took a photo of the claw and posted it online, thus sparking discussions on how bad the trash situation in our oceans could be if marine creatures are showing up literally marked by rubbish.
The burning question--or one of them, at least--is how the markings got on the lobster’s claw. The answer to that is unclear, but many are putting in their two cents.
Lindstrand immediately recognized the marking on the lobster claw as the Pepsi logo. She’s quite certain, she says, because she drinks 12 cans of Pepsi a day. Though the markings don’t actually show the Pepsi logo, the characteristic blue color, along with the combination of blue and red, are reminiscent of Pepsi.
It’s also unclear if the “tattoo” came from a Pepsi can itself, or an image of a can on a cardboard box, or something else. Lindstrand has been hauling lobsters onto a boat for four years, but she’s never see anything like this before. Her crew mates think it’s possible that the lobster somehow grew in the close vicinity of a Pepsi can on the ocean floor, or maybe a fragment of a box of Pepsi cans had become indelibly stuck on its claw. It may be difficult to find out for certain, especially without laboratory tests. Unfortunately, the lobster has been sold, and the buyer has been difficult to find.
What we can be sure of, however, is that those markings should not have been on that lobster’s claw. This is merely the latest in a long string of evidence showing the grievous impact that our garbage in the ocean has on marine wildlife. However the lobster got its Pepsi “tattoo”, it’s highly likely that it was due to trash littering the seafloor.
Our seas are choked by garbage. [Photo by Steven Guerrisi]
That the markings on the lobster were unnatural and came from a man-made object is extremely likely. Lindstrand had noted that the markings were pixelated, and naturally occurring markings won’t appear like that right on the individual that bears them.
The appearance of the Pepsi-marked lobster is certainly at least a little horrifying. It shows that our trash truly is making an indelible mark on our marine wildlife. “Where [the lobster] was living, there was garbage infiltrating even into the deep water,” said the Conservation Council of New Brunswick’s marine program coordinator, Matthew Abbott.
Five to 13 million tonnes of plastic leak out to the oceans every year. Once there, the plastic wreaks havoc on wildlife, from fish that mistake floating bits of plastic for food to birds that fly with plastic rings around their necks.
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