But these days, it's common to hear several stories a month about a lobsterman bringing one of the quirky crustaceans to shore.
Scientists, lobstermen and dealers say more bizarrely hued lobsters are being caught.
One explanation for the rise is that the overall lobster harvest has soared in recent years, to more than 100 million pounds in Maine last year, making it likely that more unusual lobsters are being caught.
The popularity of cellphone cameras and social media has also made it easier to spread the word - and photos - about strange lobsters.
Normal lobsters are a mottled greenish-brown, but some come in a variety of colors because of genetic variations.