How Long Do Lobsters Live? How Do You Lengthen Their Life?

Joan Agie
Oct 23, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Nov 04, 2021
Tropical Rock lobster under water.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 10.5 Min

Lobsters are types of shellfish with hard shells and large claws found in Saltwater.

These saltwater crustaceans live in the crevices or burrows on the seafloor and consume whatever they find as food. Crustaceans species are generally regarded as insects of the sea and include organisms like Lobsters, shrimps, barnacles, krills, and other related species.

Lobsters are dark-colored, they like to eat crabs and clams as their food. Lobsters’ dark colors help them blend with the ocean floor and stay safe. Lobsters have blue blood, similar to snails and spiders.

Today, lobsters are served as exquisite seafood. In many parts of the world, these crustaceans, just like crabs, are considered a delicacy and are eaten frequently as their favorite food. There are many health benefits of eating Maine lobster meat too. Maine lobster meat contains omega-3 fatty acids and is a great source of selenium. Lobsters also help in protecting against anemia and thyroid diseases. They are known to relieve depression as well. Their meat can also be used as the main source of protein in the meal. The delicious lobster meat is also the main source of Vitamin A, Calcium, and Iron. Not only that, but they also contain zinc phosphorus, copper, magnesium, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin E.

There are many benefits of consuming lobsters or shellfish. The consumption of meat decreases the risk of diabetes and obesity. Also, they promote healthy cholesterol levels and thus decrease risks of heart attack or heart-related diseases. The selenium present in them can be used as antioxidants and enhance mood and improve thyroid functions. Lobsters like the warm taste of clams, crabs, and other sea creatures while being creatures that are not warm-blooded.

By the way, Lobsters have teeth in their stomachs. The presence of a gastric mill in the stomach helps in grinding their food. Science can sometimes be weird. Usually, lobsters are active, and they swim in the night, which is a sign that they are nocturnal. After reading all about marine lobsters, do check that are lobsters bugs and how many legs does a lobster have?

How long do lobsters live in the wild?

Well, it might be widely recognized that Lobsters are immortal species. But this is certainly not true. However, it is true that Lobsters rather live a very long life. Many of them even exceed a life span of 100 years. Also, Lobsters are known not to lose fertility or weaken or slow down with growing ages. In fact, older lobsters can be more fertile than younger ones.

American lobster has an average lifespan of 40 to 50 years in the wild, while the European lobster lives for an average of 31 to 54 years. However, it is extremely difficult to determine the age of the lobster living in the wild. It is basically done on the basis of many different variables, such as size or weight. Let us take a look at the oldest lobsters ever caught by humans.

Here are some of the oldest lobsters ever caught:

George

George was caught in Newfoundland, Canada, in 2008. This 20 lb (9 kg) lobster which scientists estimated to be more than 140 years old by PETA. It was bought and placed in a tank at a restaurant in New York. But later, PETA, working for its conservation, convinced the owners and it was taken to New Hampshire and was released back into the wild!

Louie

This amazingly old lobster was caught in 1997 at Hempstead, New York. It is estimated to be approximately 132 years old. It lived at a restaurant for about 20 years and was later released in honor of the National lobster week by the owner near the Atlantic beach.

Larry-It reminds you of Larry from SpongeBob, doesn't it? Well, surprisingly, it was named after the character Larry in it! Larry was caught near Florida in 2016. It weighed around 15 lb (6 kg) and was estimated by scientists to be 115 years old.

Behemoth Lobster(Unknown)-Though it is not much known about this Lobster caught in Maine in 1926, it is thought to be the largest of its kind, maybe the largest to be caught ever. Weighing more than 51 lb (23 kg), It was 33 inches (83 cm) long and was possibly older than 100 years in age.

Heaviest Lobster-This Lobster caught in 1977 at the coast of Nova Scotia holds a Guinness World record for Heaviest Marine Crustacean in the world. It weighed more than 44 lb (19 kg) and was estimated to be 100 years old.

British Lobster-This large British Lobster was caught near West Sussex in 2011 and is estimated to be more than 50 years old. It weighed around 9 lb (4 kg). It was later donated to the Blue Reef aquarium.

Patrick-This Lobster was caught by an English fisherman in 2012. He was estimated to be more than 50 years old. It was caught near Devon, England, and weighed over 10 lb (4.53 kg). The Fishermen thought it was too big to be eaten and wouldn't taste good, so he donated it to a local aquarium.

The Big Dipper-This giant lobster measuring 3 feet in length and 20 lb (9 kg) in weight was caught by Ricky Louis Felice Jr. in 2015. It was caught near Maine in New England. Though the fishermen thought the lobster might be 75 years old. But based on its pictures, the local marine professor estimated that the lobster might only be 25-50 years old.

How long do lobsters live out of water?

Maine lobsters are marine animals. They live in the burrows on the surface of the oceans. They prefer cold water habitats and prefer digging sands or hiding between rocks to stay safe. Fresh lobsters are known to live up to 48 hours if properly refrigerated. Fresh-water lobsters have a mineral-like taste. If you want a bit more flavor, then saltwater lobsters might be your choice, but fresh-water lobsters are also considered premium to be eaten while fresh.

Caribbean spiny lobster under water

When you keep the lobsters in the refrigerator where it is the coldest, these crustaceans can live easily for one-two days. If you want to keep and eat dead lobster meat fresh for a longer time, you may use a process called Blanching. Well, this is the process used by restaurants to keep the product for a long time and save it from 'shrinking'! It is a rather easy process. All you have to do is boil some water with a tablespoon of sea salt. Place the lobster in boiling water and slightly cook it for around two minutes. After you are done, place the lobster in an ice bath for another 10 minutes. Now all you have to do is keep the lobster wrapped in a kitchen towel in the fridge. And you're free to use the meat and eat it within 48 hours for various delicious recipes.

Why can lobsters live so long?

Lobsters are known to live for more than 100 years in the wild. That too is partially correct information. Since we don't have any relevant means to measure a lobster's real age, we can only take a guess. The marine biologist uses the weight and the size of the lobsters to find their age. So we don't have any accurate information about the age of the lobster. Lobstermen are the people who catch the lobsters. Lobstermen catch the lobster by setting the trap and bait around the water. Lobsters are found majorly everywhere, from the cold Atlantic ocean to the cold Pacific ocean, which makes it convenient for the lobstermen. Lobsters can't be classified as fish, but nonetheless, animals love to enjoy These cold blood creatures as seafood and prey.

One thing that we are sure of, lobsters can live a long life in the wild. Well, this is something we know about. Lobsters age just like any other organisms but still have an extraordinarily long life span. This state of an organism living a long life is known as 'bio-indefinite mortality.' In this state, an organism's rate of mortality from aging is stable. That is why older Lobsters don't lose fertility with the growing age. But that doesn't mean that the organism is immortal. It can still die from other means such as lack of available resources or change of environment.

Do lobsters live forever?

Contrary to the popularly accepted theories, Lobsters are not immortal. They may not weaken, slow down or even lose fertility with growing age but they are still mortal since many lobsters are caught in the trap while fishing, they are killed at an early age. The traps used while fishing are made of wood since steel traps would be useless due to their heavy weight.

Their capability to survive past the average age of death is due to the presence of an enzyme called Telomerase. This enzyme helps repair the long repetitive sections of DNA referred to as Telomere. Most vertebrates start to lose these enzymes with the growing age but not this crustacean! But this doesn't guarantee them immortality. The fact is, Lobsters grow by a process called molting, by constantly replacing their molt. The removal of molt requires a large amount of energy. The required keeps on increasing with the size of the shell. Eventually, older Lobsters would stop molting and die due to damaged shells. These shells either get infected or fall apart on their own.

Benefits of Eating Lobsters: Lobsters may seem like an expensive treat but they come with many health benefits too. Below are some health benefits of eating Lobsters.

Improves Thyroid Functions: Lobsters are a good source of selenium. The selenium present in them helps the thyroid metabolize hormones and thus promotes healthy thyroid functions.

Vitamins and Minerals: Lobsters also contain copper, zinc phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium. Apart from that, they are rich sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B-12, and also, Vitamin E.

Healthy Heart: Eating Lobsters can decrease the risks of diabetes and obesity. Not only that, but they also promote healthy cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Anemia: The blue color of the blood of the lobsters is due to the presence of copper in it. Thus they have one of the highest copper contents. This benefits people with any form of anemia and improves the RBC counts.

Mental Health Benefits: The presence of Omega 3 fatty acids in lobsters helps in decreasing depression and aggression in Adults and reduces the risks of ADHD in children.

Protein: A lobster weighing an average of 145 grams can provide as much as 27.55 g of proteins. Thus it is highly recommended to use lobsters as a protein source.

Ethics Of Cooking Live Lobsters

Lobster traps are set to catch lobsters. There are various types of live lobsters to be found in the cold water, like female lobsters. One of the types of live lobsters or water lobsters is the Maine Lobster. Maine lobster is also called the American Lobster. Maine lobsters are these cold-blooded creatures that are enjoyed as a delicacy around the world. This live Maine lobster is also delt to be sold in many markets. A live Maine lobster is sold for 19$. Live lobsters develop a new shell.

There are many methods used for killing lobsters before cooking. The most common practice of them all is killing them by placing them in hot boiling water, alive! Although they can also be killed before placing them in boiling water by stabbing into their brain. Believe it or not, placing them live in boiling water causes pain and distress. That's why countries like Switzerland and New Zealand have made it illegal to boil lobsters alive.

Though crustaceans do not exhibit any sign of pain or distress, which could be recognized by us, thus, placing them in boiling water or cutting them alive to kill them would be pitiless and inhumane.

So instead of boiling them alive or microwaving or drowning them, you may use the following ways to kill your lobsters before cooking them:

To kill them without pain or distress, you may use the aquatic fish anesthetic AQUI-S.

You can stun them by placing them in cold air or ice slurry freshwater or saltwater and then quickly kill them.

You can use different electrocution methods. They can die more quickly and remain fresh for as long as 48 hours.

You may also ask the butcher to slaughter it as quickly as possible.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how long do lobsters live, then why not take a look at what does lobster taste like or Lobster Facts.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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