How a Grocery Store Rescue Lobster Called Leon Broke the Internet

His destiny was dinner until he won the lobster lottery.

Fiona Cameron Lister
10 min readJan 20, 2022

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Leon, the luckiest lobster in the world. Image courtesy of Brady Brandwood

Even by YouTube viral animal rescue tale standards, this is the most unlikely of successes. Yet the heart-warming story of how filmmaker Brady Brandwood bought a live lobster from his local grocery store and then cared for it rather than cooked it has racked up tens of millions of views on the video channel.

The comments alone (Video 1 has over 52,000 of them) are worth their weight in gold. People have literally been moved to tears, including seafood chefs and fishermen. “They are beautiful creatures, I am a chef and I know it may sound silly to some of you, but I’ve never been able to ‘dispatch’ one,” confesses Leon fan Physixz.

“I am a lobster fisherman and have kept small ones myself ,” confides fellow enthusiast Jeff Ross. “I do not eat them if anyone is wondering, never even tried it! Love watching him do his thing!”

Commenter Gadzooks is just as captivated: “Some of the bestest, most wholesome YouTube content in years,” he writes. “Bless the algorithm for bringing Leon into our lives!”

First catch your lobster

In his first video, bearing the irresistible title: Keeping a Grocery Store Lobster as a Pet, Brandwood relates, in his calming South Carolina accent accompanied by surprisingly relaxing background music, how he had an empty 55-gallon salt water tank and wanted it to have a new occupant as “winter is coming and I’ll be indoors more often and it would be fun to have something in the tank again.”

He describes with endearing nerdiness its filtration and oxygenation systems, and its inhabitants over the years, including moon jellyfish, cannonball jellies, and “a cool crab that would come up to the surface and eat out of my hand.”

Cut to the seafood section of his local grocery store, the camera ranging across displays of prawns and shrimps, seafood and potato…

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Fiona Cameron Lister

Experienced British writer/editor/mentor in Italy | MWC semi-finalist| Loves words, history, humour, unusual subjects| Contact: fcameronlister@gmail.com