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I love to comb the beach, looking for unique shells and then learning about the animals that make these shells a home. It’s a fun activity and I learn something new. However, very rarely do I ever keep the shells; I have a teeny, tiny shell collection on Starry Horizons. I usually find shells on the beach that are hardy like cowrie and cockles. Despite the waves bashing and wearing away at them, these shells have survived the ocean to wash up on the beach. That’s why it was such a treat to go to the Phuket Seashell Museum.
The museum is full of intricate and delicate shells that I would never find on the beach. It’s inside and airconditioned, making it a great activity for a rainy day in Phuket or a hot afternoon. When I went with my friend Carlanna, we had the entire museum to ourselves.
The museum groups the shells by scientific family, and each family had a plaque talking about unique characteristics. One thing I loved was seeing pictures of the live animal side by side with the shell.
Also, there were some interesting tidbits about some of the species. For example, there was a plaque about how harp shells can self-amputate a part of their body. Usually, it’s used to escape predators, but recently one was observed attacking the supposed predator, making the discarded body part a lure instead of a defense mechanism.
I was also able to see the cone snail shells, some of which are highly toxic. They are one of the few animals we had to be wary of in the South Pacific. Check out a video of a cone snail eating a fish. The venom is an inhibitor of severe pain and scientists are exploring other potential medicinal uses.
I hope you enjoyed this little sample of the Phuket Seashell Museum. Which one is your favorite?