I have loved and collected sea shells all my life. There is something about them that is just fascinating. Just imagine the creatures that live inside those beautiful seashells; they have figured out how to survive, get food, move from place to place and to stay alive.
Since I was a child, I have been interested in shells. In fact, I was positive that I would become an oceanographer. This fantasy lasted for a few years until I researched exactly what an oceanographer does; deep sea diving, swimming away from sharks, and so forth. Not exactly someone who just searches for sea shells.
Here are some of the *shells I’ve collected over the years:
Chambered Nautilus, outside and inside
Lion’s Paw Scallop Shell
Marlin Spike Seashell
Venus Comb Murex Shell
When I was in Hawaii, some of the beaches had a sign up to warn visitors about cone shells. Not the shells themselves, but the deadly little critter that lives in them. From Living in Hawaii, there is this about the really deadly cone snails:
“Conus – Deadly Sea Snails (Conidae)
In Hawaiian language, “Poniuniu”. As strange as it sounds, walking along a beach or diving in Hawaii and picking up a Conus shell with a snail still inside, can lead to excruciating pain, and possibly even death. Yes, snails in Hawaii can be potentially deadly, though there have been no fatalities here yet. There are thirty to forty species of Conus snail in the waters of Hawaii.
The largest, the leopard Conus (Conus leopardus) can reach 9 inches in length. The three that are especially dangerous are the textile, striated and marbled cones. These dangerous snails are carnivorous and hunt marine life nocturnally. The snails have a harpoon-like ‘tooth’ that contains potent neurotoxic venom that renders prey helpless. The venom is also cytotoxic, destroying cells of the organism. There is no antivenin available.” YIKES!
Here it is in all its murderous glory:
I actually own one of these (bought in a shop). I never knew how deadly they could be. Fortunately, I never even came close to one in Hawaii.
There is just a fascination about sea shells; amazing that the modest little slug in the shell can produce all that beauty.
*The shells pictured are not mine; I found these lovely images online. However, I do own shells exactly like these, and more.