They added two missing legs to the thing

By Mike Pomranz
February 26, 2018
Photo by Ivan via Getty Images

When the Unicode Consortium announced that the new emojis would include a supervillain emoji, was anyone really thinking, Where have you been all my life? But some new emojis garner lots of hype: things like the avocado, bacon and pancakes, for instance. The lobster—also announced in the forthcoming Unicode update—is another that has gotten people excited, especially in Maine where the lobster reigns supreme. So needless to say, lobster diehards were seriously disappointed when early previews of the lobster emoji proved to be anatomically incorrect—and are hopefully happy now that two missing legs have been restored.

To be fair, when Unicode 11 was announced back in December, the Unicode Consortium made it clear that this announcement was only a beta and that the final emojis wouldn’t be released for some time. “The list is not final: changes can include removals or additions,” the group stated. From there, Emojipedia created samples images of what these emojis may look like. The site emphasized this point when releasing the images: “These mockups are created at the candidate stage, and may or may not resemble final versions from each platform vendor,” the site wrote. And as another important side note, though Emojipedia is associated with the Unicode Consortium, neither group actually designs the emjois as they appear on your phone: That’s left up to the companies behind your phone’s operating system like Apple or Google. (Remember the whole “Where does the cheese go on a cheeseburger?” fiasco?)

Photo by Emojipedia

Still, despite all of that, enough people complained about Emojipedia’s mockup of the lobster emoji that the site decided to revise its image. In equal fairness to those who complained, the mistake was relatively significant: The lobster didn’t have the correct number of legs. Clearly, a spider emoji with only six legs wouldn’t be a spider, and Emojipedia determined that, though the lobster’s mockup took a few anatomical liberties, the number of legs was the only must-fix. Turns out lobsters are “decapods”—meaning ten legs, so Emojipedia added another set, bringing the total number of limbs, including two claws, to ten.

But despite the change, Emojipedia Editor in Chief Jeremy Burge questioned whether emoji animals even needed to be true to life. “Maybe all emojis shouldn't be anatomically correct,” he wrote in a footnote. “I have a personal preference for some animals favoring cuteness and legibility over accuracy, but there is a balance to be had.” Precisely, it’s not like your head gets that round when you smile, but it’s still a smiley face.

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