How Many Legs Does a Lobster Have? Even Red Lobster Gets This Wrong.

Slate’s animal blog.
Aug. 12 2014 12:10 PM

Almost Every Lobster Image You See Is Anatomically Incorrect

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You'd think they would know better.

Photo courtesy H.L.I.T./Flickr Creative Commons

Humans have two legs. Dogs and cats have four. Spiders have eight. Quick, how many do lobsters have?

What? You don’t know?

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Thank goodness, then, for lobsters’ rights activists. A new blog called Lobsters Have Ten Legs is dedicated to raising awareness about the unrealistic portrayals of lobsters, and it turns out these inaccuracies are all around us. The site points out anatomical mistakes from children’s sidewalk art and stuffed animals, all the way up to—gaspRed Lobster’s logo. It seems that lobsters are commonly depicted as having eight legs instead of 10 (two claws in front and four pairs* of smaller legs).

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Et tu?

Photo by Mike Mozart/Flickr Creative Commons

Beyond educating people about the number of legs on a lobster, the blog depicts the rich habitat of anatomically incorrect lobsters: They appear on top of a car, or serenading a woman with a guitar. And the blog even throws shade at Patrick Stewart's lobster costume. (Unless Stewart meant to go as a dead lobster, there’s some extra inaccuracy to his costume: Live lobsters are actually brown, not red.)

Here’s to hoping that the forces behind Lobsters Are Decapods joins up with those of the Birds Rights Activist to rule the seas and skies.

140807_WILD_LobsterLegs-06
Oh, never mind.

Photo courtesy Tina D/Flickr Creative Commons

Correction, Aug. 12, 2014: Due to a production error, this article originally stated that lobsters have four smaller legs. They have four pairs of smaller, walking legs.

Jane C. Hu has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California–Berkeley and is a 2014 AAAS Mass Media Fellow. Follow her on Twitter.

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