From the Wrack: Mermaids Necklace


In last week’s blog I discussed that having a hobby, like finding Sea Glass, is great but if you open up your hobby horizons to more possibilities it can be more fun and rewarding. As you do one hobby, you can do many. In this case as I look for sea glass, I also look for many other things like last week’s Heart Rocks. This week is about another rare find - the Knobbed Whelk Egg Casing, also known but its romantic nickname, the Mermaids Necklace. 

Most people don’t realize that this is how shells are born, from these types of egg casings. If you are lucky enough to find one you may also be extremely lucky and find young baby shells still inside the casing. See some photos below!

This is so rare because these baby shells are a seabird's favorite little snack. I have found many necklaces but very few with shells still inside. I always have hope as I shake them (hoping to hear the rattle of baby shells still inside the casing) only to be faked out by sand making the noise instead as each egg has a hole in it where the gull pulled out all of the baby shells. However, recently I found one and I had actually found it before the birds so it was still full of young shells. 

One of the fun things we like to do is save them to show children where shells come from. We show them the giant Knobbed Whelk shell first, then we have them open up an egg to see if the baby shells are inside!! They cannot believe that’s where shells come from and that this tiny shell ends up as big as it does. A wonderful activity and completely free!! 

I hope you find one, if you look hard and often, you will!!

Remember, keep the Sun on your face and the wind at your back!!

Good Beachcombing,

Sean


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