I remember when I was a young boy and my mom had me listen to a souvenier conch shell. I was amazed! It sounded just like the ocean waves, crashing on the beach. But I was sitting on the couch at our house, 75 miles from the ocean! Continue reading
Some people want to know if it’s safe to add sea shells to their aquariums. The answer is yes, but you should be aware of some things before you place the shells into the water. Continue reading
As the wind blows gently past my sun deck, the music of the wind chimes soothes my mood. In our technological world, where phones and computers and TV’s consume many hours of each day, it’s kind of nice to take a break sometimes. Continue reading
Materials Scientists at North Dakota State University studied seashells to uncover how they get their amazing strength. Continue reading
Seashells are the former homes of animals called mollusks. Mollusks are small animals that have no backbones. They have delicate and slimy bodies and need shells to protect their fragile bodies from the elements and predators that hunt them. Continue reading
We have heard a lot about the health hazards of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, etc. polluting our water. It gets into our food chain and drinking water and causes a variety of health issues.
In 2009, Stephan Kohler of the Graz University of Technology in Austria and a team of researchers used common sea shells to cleanse water contaminated with toxic metals like zinc, cadmium, lead and iron.
The researchers discovered that by pouring the toxic water over a bed of crushed clam or mussel shells, the metals were effectively removed. In the developing countries, this process could save many lives with minimal costs involved.
The way it works is the sea shells are made of calcium carbonate. The heavy metals bond to the shells, thus taking them out of the water. Clam and mussel shells are a waste product of the seafood industry in many places.
Kohler’s team uses methods based on studies done by Manuel Prieto of Spain’s Oviedo University. Prieto demonstrated in 2003 that he could remove cadmium from water by using sea shells made of calcium carbonate.
The great thing about this process is that sea shells are abundant and economical all over the world. This means even in developing countries, we have a way to deal with the problem of heavy metal pollution that is practical.
Obviously, we need to stop the actual problem of dumping these metals into our water to begin with. Until then, we now have a way to deal with this dangerous pollution, thanks to our world’s abundance of sea shells.
One way to make your bathroom more interesting is by using seashells in various creative roles. Here are a few, to get your idea juices flowing. I’m sure you can invent even more on your own.
In 1997, a curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York discovered one the museum’s two specimen’s of Chimaeria incomparabilis was missing. The multi-hued mollusks, about 2 1/2 inches long, resemble elongated porcelain eggs. Scientists think they are mostly found in the northwestern Indian Ocean by deepwater fishermen. Only six are known to exist in the entire world.
Shell money was once commonly used in many parts of the world. Shell money usually consisted either of whole sea shells or pieces of them, which were often worked into beads or were otherwise artificially shaped. The use of shells in trade began as direct commodity exchange, the shells having value as body ornamentation.
The hobby of collecting seashells has been going on since the days of cavemen. People were familiar with shellfish as food, and also noticed their delicately sculpted and decorated shells.