A seagull takes a bit of Alicia Jessop’s lobster roll in York, Maine, on Friday. Jessop wanted to snap the perfect picture Friday of her lobster roll from Fox’s Lobster House before she took a bite. She says she was focused on framing the sandwich with the picturesque Nubble Lighthouse in the background when she felt something rustle her hand. She quickly realized a seagull had knocked it out of her hand and was already eating it. (Alicia Jessop/@rulingsports via AP)

A seagull takes a bit of Alicia Jessop’s lobster roll in York, Maine, on Friday. Jessop wanted to snap the perfect picture Friday of her lobster roll from Fox’s Lobster House before she took a bite. She says she was focused on framing the sandwich with the picturesque Nubble Lighthouse in the background when she felt something rustle her hand. She quickly realized a seagull had knocked it out of her hand and was already eating it. (Alicia Jessop/@rulingsports via AP)

Seagull photobombs, steals woman’s lobster roll

By Sophia Rosenbaum / Associated Press

Alicia Jessop knew Friday was going to be a memorable day, but she didn’t realize it would be one she’d never forget.

The 34-year-old Pepperdine University professor planned to finally visit New England, hitting some of the last seven states she’d never been to, and try her first-ever lobster roll. What she didn’t plan for was capturing a now-viral photo of the moment a seagull tried to snag her pricey sandwich as she was lining up the perfect shot.

“I was really embarrassed. You hear stories of people taking crazy Instagram pictures and hurting themselves and I was like, ‘Oh my God, you are now that person. You just wasted $21.50 for a picture.’ ”

Jessop started her lobster roll quest Friday afternoon, renting a car after wrapping up a work conference in Vermont and beginning her New England road trip. After a few Google and Yelp searches, she made her way to Fox’s Lobster House in York, Maine, buying her $21.50 lobster roll and walking over to the water to take a picture.

“It was the most picturesque place,” Jessop said. “You’re standing on the seashore overlooking the lighthouse. I don’t really take a lot of food pictures, but I knew this needed to be documented.”

She spent about 20 seconds framing her Instagram shot, maneuvering her hands holding the lobster roll in the perfect position so her phone could capture the sandwich and the Nubble Lighthouse in the background.

Jessop said as she took the picture, she felt something rustle her hand. She immediately thought she dropped the lobster roll.

“That’s when I realized the seagull had swooped in and I hadn’t even seen it coming,” she said. “It’s a really smart bird and it all happened so fast.”

Before she had time to shoo the bird away, Jessop said it was already feasting on the lobster roll with “all of his friends.”

As she walked back to the lobster shack to get another roll, she flipped through her camera roll and burst into laughter, realizing the only photo she had was the exact moment the seagull had swooped in to steal her sandwich. She posted the picture on Twitter , saying, “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

Within a half an hour, thousands of people had liked her post, which now has more than 191,000 likes on Twitter.

Jessop went back to Fox’s and paid for another $21.50 lobster roll, but this time sat in a different area to enjoy the sandwich, which she said “was an awesome treat and well worth the money.” She asked another customer to snap a photo of her so she had proof she actually ate a lobster roll.

Aside from the funny story and laughter she personally got from her lobster roll mishap, Jessop said the experience has shown her “people just need a laugh.”

She is also embracing the possibility of being known as the seagull picture woman for the rest of her life.

“There’s a lot worse things I could be known for, and if that means I get free lobster rolls and bring a little bit of laughter into people’s lives, I think that’s a good thing,” she said.

Talk to us

More in Nation-World

John Lewis, lion of civil rights and Congress, dies at 80

He was best known for leading 600 protesters in the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

Comet streaking past Earth, providing spectacular show

NASA’s Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet in March.

Boeing has settled almost all Lion Air crash-death claims

The company didn’t say how much it paid the families of the people killed in the 2018 Indonesia crash.

Supreme Court: LGBT people protected from job discrimination

Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Boeing, suppliers plunge on stop-and-go 737 Max comeback

An uptick in Covid-19 cases in the U.S. has added to concerns that airlines face a prolonged recovery

Boeing goes another month without a single airliner order

Airlines are canceling thousands of flights while passengers remain too scared to fly.

Bellevue couple’s nightmare: Held in China, away from daughter

Chinese officials want the man’s father to return from the U.S. to face 20-year-old embezzling charges.

Airbus CEO warns workers it’s bleeding cash and needs cuts

Both Airbus and Boeing are preparing for job cuts as they gauge the depth of the downturn.

U.S. unsure it can meet deadline to disburse funds to tribes

The department hasn’t determined whether unique Alaska Native corporations are eligible for a share.

As people stay home, Earth turns wilder and cleaner

“There’s some silver lining for wildlife in what otherwise is a fairly catastrophic time for humans.”

Trump, Congress scramble to revive virus-hunting agency

In 2019 it was without a permanent leader, and in the Trump administration’s budget-slashing sights.

Virus casts a dark cloud over once-thriving home market

Shutdown orders have halted open houses, sellers are delaying listings and buyers are losing their jobs.