The people of Maine do not mess around when it comes to lobsters, y’all. In fact, you have them to thank for the new lobster emoji redesign, which will now be slightly more anatomically correct than the initially announced design.
Earlier this month, Unicode, the organization responsible for emoji designs, announced over 150 new emojis soon to hit our phones. The announcement included some much anticipated additions like a cupcake emoji, a bagel emoji, and (FINALLY!) emoji people with red hair. In this latest batch of emoji, there is also lobster. This is good news for anyone who...texts a lot about lobsters, I guess? This is particularly great news for the entire state of Maine, mostly because they were the ones responsible for the red crustacean being emojified in the first place.
Maine Senator Angus King was one of the primary proponents for a lobster emoji. In a letter to the Unicode chair, Senator King described the lobster as both a “culturally- and economically-important animal.” (Like I said, Maine takes their lobsters seriously.) King even pitted the lobster against its fellow crustacean, the crab, which already has its own emoji. He also cited Google search statistics to numerically back up just how trendy the lobster is and why it deserves its own emoji. (This kind of data and research is actually pretty customary for the emoji submission process. The design podcast 99 Percent Invisible has a great episode on the ins and outs of proposing an emoji, which are more complicated than you might imagine.)
Much to the glee of Senator King and lobster lovers alike, Unicode accepted the proposal for the lobster emoji, announcing its inclusion in this latest emoji batch.
Hurray! Huzzah! Let the lobster celebration ensue!
But there was one problem. Well, two problems, actually: The proposed lobster design showed the animal with eight legs. Lobsters, in fact have ten.
Two entire legs missing?! Is there no justice for the lobster?
As the Portland Press Herald points out, this did not sit well with those more familiar with the leg count of the lobster. “[The emoji] also appears to have an extra crusher claw,” the Press Herald reported, “not to mention a tail that is grossly malformed.” As also they pointed out, the emoji designs released in this announcement are not necessarily the final design that will show up on our phones. However, lobster advocates (AKA a lot of Maine residents) wanted to make sure Unicode represented the lobster with at least as many legs as the animal actually has.
Us mere lobster laymen may not have realized the leg error, primarily because we’ve been seeing the lobster with the wrong number of legs for years in a certain seafood restaurant logo. Yes, the Red Lobster logo actually has the wrong number of legs as well. Of course, it (like the emoji) is just an artist’s interpretation of the animal, and by no means is it meant to serve as a scientific illustration.
But, again, Maine takes their lobsters seriously. If they’re going to have emoji representation, it’s going to be right.
Apparently, the emoji folks agree. According to Bloomberg, Unicode Consortium acknowledged the concerns about the number of legs. Emojipedia Chief Emoji Officer Jeremy Burge said they’d heard complaints and plan on releasing updated designs for the lobster emoji, with a corrected leg count, as well as revamped designs for the skateboard emoji and DNA emoji.
(Brief moment of pause to acknowledge that actual, professional job title: Chief Emoji Officer. How does one even become the chief officer of emoji? Do you get your own emoji if you reach such a title? Do you think he uses the poop emoji? He has to right? Like, legally?)
Come later this year, when these newest emoji are set to be available for use, you should see an updated, more anatomically correct lobster sitting soundly among its fellow emoji sea creatures.