Larry the Lobster, aged 50 (we think), dies en route from Florida to Maine

Photo by The Washington Post, Matt McClain.

Photo by The Washington Post, Matt McClain. Pictured above: not Larry.

Larry the Lobster, who shot to fame last week after his life was spared by the owner of a seafood restaurant in Florida, died earlier this week while packed inside a styrofoam container, in transit from the Sunshine State to the Pine Tree State.

Larry, a 15-pound lobster who was estimated to be between 30 and 80 years old, was set to be eaten by a group of restaurant patrons in Florida who specifically reserved Larry for a special meal. 15 pound lobsters are rare, and even more rare on the dinner table. It is illegal to catch lobsters of that size in Maine, in fact, though it is legal to catch huge lobsters in nearby Massachusetts.

A group of animal rights activists asked the restaurant owner to spare Larry’s life, and he agreed. He packed Larry in a styrofoam cooler shaped like a clamshell, with frozen gel packs and seaweed, and shipped him back to Maine, to live out the rest of his presumably long days doing all the things lobsters do — sit around on the ocean floor, eat clams and crabs and garbage, hopefully get to mate with a lady lobster.

Upon arriving at his destination — his final destination, as it turns out — at the Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay Harbor, staff opened up the styrofoam box and, to their horror, discovered that Larry was dead. It’s not known what the actual cause of death was; it is likely some combination of being taken out of the ocean, displayed in a restaurant lobster tank, shut inside a styrofoam box and flown in a plane several times over the course of a few weeks lead to Larry’s ultimate demise.

Larry is survived, we think, by thousands of smaller lobsters that, if they had actual brains, would hope to someday grow to be as big and strong as their father.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food to all the cool things going on in the Greater Bangor area. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra. She's interested in everything that happens in Maine.