“It’s gotten like a cult and religious following,” one university senior joked

By Claudia Harmata
October 22, 2019 11:20 AM
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What seemingly started as a prank by Rutgers University students has turned into a school-wide meme.

Each September, the university’s dining halls host a smorgasbord of seafood — lobster, crab, bisque, flounder, salmon, shrimp, and more — in their annual King Neptune Night for students.

After this year’s feast, some students decided to jokingly take a lobster from the all-you-can-eat event and place it in a tree on campus, according to The Daily Targum, the university’s official student newspaper.

Although the crustacean slowly rotted away over its three-week stay in the tree — presumably removed by university officials on Oct. 18 — students have come to memorialize its presence with a new make-shift lobster made out of pinecones and tape. Others have even joked about starting a petition to make it a historical monument on campus.

“It’s gotten like a cult and religious following,” Jericho Bautista, a senior at Rutgers’ School of Arts and Sciences, told the campus publication of the tree lobster. “It’s really cool that someone put a lobster in a very obvious and reachable spot and no one thought of taking it away for a good three weeks.”

Students have also memorialized the lobster with a Tinder account, while others have hung up photos of the crustacean in their dorm rooms in honor of the prank.

According to the outlet, students have also jokingly made “pilgrimages” to the tree as part of the viral campus trend, where they pay homage to the new makeshift lobster named Boris, and another real lobster that was placed there and dubbed Yellow Band Bobby.

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Some students, however, pointed out that the prank was wasteful, writing on Reddit that “it’s really not funny to have food go wasted like that.”

Despite the criticism, the trend seems to have created a new community at the university, The Daily Targum reports, bringing students together for a good laugh.

“I’m sure other people meeting at the tree have met each other and talked about it,” Autumn Rauscher, the School of Arts Sciences sophomore who created Boris told the outlet. “Just because of a lobster in a tree.”