lobster
Credit: Jacob Knowles/Instagram

There's a Good Chance This Lobster is 100 Years Old

At seven years a pound, it's definitely possible.

Jacob Knowles might be the most famous Maine lobsterman on the internet. On his channel, he'll showcase lobsters of all sorts — big ones, breeders, blue ones, and more — to give insight into his profession and the animal. Recently, he found one that he thinks could be 100 years old.

"So there's no official way to age a lobster, but a rough rule of thumb is about seven years old to a pound," Knowles said. "And this lobster is well over 10 pounds. It's possible this lobster is over 100 years old."

Knowles added the lobster, which he described as the biggest he had ever caught, was in really good shape. "Usually when they get this old, they get in hard shape. They get a lot of shell disease, but this one looks like brand new," he said.

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Certainly, Knowles is a professional lobsterman, so he would obviously know his craft, but are those numbers correct? Well, the best available resources on the Internet seem to suggest that he definitely could be.

According to the University of Maine's Lobster Institute, lobsters weighing one to two pounds tend are typically five to seven years old, which tracks with Knowles's estimation. Additionally, they can live to be well over 100 years old.

Still, experts say that aging a lobster is difficult because they molt and develop a new hardened exoskeleton every few years. Therefore, another way to age a lobster is by counting the rings on its eye stalks, sort of like counting the rings on a tree, but you can only do that with a dead lobster. And yet another way is to conduct DNA testing.

However, Knowles didn't keep him. Citing Maine law, he said he has to return any male bigger than five inches to the water because they're considered breeders (As is his way, Knowles handed the large and possibly ancient crustacean a snack and sent him on his way).