Lobsters Are Immortal & Twitter Users’ Minds Are Blown

A microbiology student captured the minds of the internet when she explained crustacean genetics using dank memes.

By Ethan L. Johns
June 22, 2018

Image: victorn/iStock

Eternal life has escaped humans for, like… as long as humans have been alive. Know what eternal life hasn’t escaped?


One Twitter user—a microbiology and marine biology student who goes by the name Junius on the web—decided to share some tidbits of crustacean knowledge with her followers on Thursday after she unleashed a rather wild theory.

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A “deal with the devil”? When Twitter users expressed their curiosity, Junius obliged them.

“Ok, so basically,” she began, “lobsters do not die of old age. The only thing time does to a lobster is make it bigger and bigger, if environmental conditions are good. This is because they have a secret molecular trick over all of us senescent rubes: constant production of telomerase.”

Telomerase? To spare you the more sciency stuff (you can read the full thread here), as we age, we lose bits of genetic material called telomeres. When there’s not enough of it left, we die. Telomerase is an enzyme that helps rebuild telomeres, thus enabling lobsters to theoretically live forever.

So why do we not have million-year-old lobsters roaming the oceans?

Junius admits that it’s silly to think of it in biblical terms, yet summed it up that way anyway.

“It’s like lobsters have made a deal with the devil, and the devil always gets his due,” she wrote.

So if you are a lobsterman or lobsterwoman, Genius Kitchen hereby calls on you to forego your livelihood and nurse all lobsters to be capable of obtaining their immortality. Just kidding. Sort-of.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns