There was something so cool about lobsters (besides being delicious) that made me love these little crustaceans even more. And it's a lie...

Have you heard that lobsters mate for life?

Heck, even Phoebe on Friends made mention of it (1996) when talking about Rachel and Ross. She told Ross it was going to be okay:

See, he's her lobster.


Based on the fact rumor, that lobsters mate for life.

Thanks to Snope (ruining ideals every day!) that couldn't be further from the truth!

When a female lobster is ready to become a mother, she seeks out the region’s reigning male lobster and pays a call to his burrow. When the male comes charging out to see who is disturbing his beauty sleep, the female either lightly wrestles with him or turns her back on him, either of which tends to somewhat calm his natural “kill everything that comes calling” urge. For good measure, she sprays him with the lobster equivalent of urine.


Suitably mollified, the male grants her access to his den, where she shortly emerges from her shell, after which time the procreative act takes place.


After tarrying in her paramour’s burrow for about a week, the female lobster emerges wearing her new shell and porting a sperm receptacle filled by the battle-scarred warrior she’d hooked up with. In a few months, she will release as many as 10,000 to 20,000 eggs from her ovaries. Of her progeny, only about one-tenth of one percent (which amounts to 10 or 20 lobsters out of that potential 10,000 to 20,000) will survive beyond the first four weeks of life.

As for the father of that 10 or 20, once his live-in girlfriend of a week departs, he goes back to his usual routine of whomping the tar out of any male lobster fool enough to invade his territory and welcoming into his burrow for similar week-long sojourns any and all new lady loves who spritz urine his way.

How in God's name did the rumor  lobsters mate for life ever start with that ritual?

So what animals DO mate for life?

  • wolves
  • termites
  • beavers
  • bald eagles
  • swans
  • pigeons
  • ospreys
  • black vultures

Now, you'll just have to turn to your significant other and say,

You are my termite.