By LEON WATSON
He's feeling all-white: Christmas came early for staff at the Weymouth Sea Life centre when this little fella turned up
You don't need to pinch yourself, a pure white albino lobster has been caught off the coast of Dorset.
The snow-coloured beast was pulled from the sea by a fisherman who couldn't bring himself to eat it and instead handed it to an aquarium.
Santa Claws - as he's been named - is now at home at the Sea Life centre in Weymouth, Dorset, where he has turned into a popular attraction.
Santa Claws, the albino lobster, can count himself very lucky he was caught because mother nature is not known for her Christmas spirit and his chances would be extremely thin in the wild
Santa is a one-in-a-million find and has been fortunate to be able to survive into adulthood. He was discovered in a lobster pot and is thought to be about 30-years-old.
The fisherman who found it said it was near Portland Bill, Dorset, and hadn't seen anything like it in 40 years.
Sea Life curator Fiona Smith said: 'There have been one or two other albino lobsters found around the UK in the last 20 years or so, but none of them as perfect as Santa.
'He really is pearly white from the tips of his huge claws to the end of his tail. Only his eyes are black.
Pinchy: Local fisherman brought in Santa Claws after pulling him from the sea off Dorset
'He's also pretty big and could easily be more than 30-years-old.
'If he has been an albino from birth it's incredible that he hasn't been snaffled by a hungry shark, seal or perhaps even an otter.'
The lobster is even more lucky he didn't end up being sold for the table as millions of Brits are shelling out for the tasty crustaceans this Christmas as an alternative to turkey.
Albinism in lobsters is caused by a lack of colour pigment. Santa suffers from a total absence of melanin.
Monday, December 12, 2011
By LEON WATSON