The shocking headline and photo in “the Onion” has raised a lot of concern, and it got me to thinking about sea shells. If you haven’t seen the story, it is titled, “Report: All the Good Sea Shells Taken.”
The photo shows a beach littered with broken sea shells, and not a good one can be spotted.
According to “the Onion,” researchers have shown that beaches where craft hobbyists once found plenty of shells now contain nothing suitable for even the most basic craft projects.
University of Miami researchers Paul Irizarry was quoted as saying:
“Frankly, the only seashells left are of the most inferior quality, in terms of both aesthetic appeal and structural integrity. Anything you might want to thread onto a necklace, string up as wind chimes, or polish and place on the corner of your desk no longer exists.
“We saw one that looked really good at first, but then we turned it over and saw it had a huge crack running along the bottom of it. I think we just tossed it in the ocean or something.”
While their studies are not complete, the researchers suspect that the good shells were taken mostly by aunts who live in nearby beach houses or by 14-year-olds with few, if any, friends.
And that’s where my investigation took off, with the goal of tracking down the lost sea shells.
Most of us have probably forgotten how sea shells were once used and abused by the classic children’s television show, “Sesame Street,” to encourage enjoyment of the classics. Check out the video player on this page.
It was simple to document many disturbing uses of sea shells. See the videos below:
While searching for the missing shells, I stumbled upon the story of Mary Anning, a British fossil collector born in 1799. She collected lots of stuff and served as the inspiration for the famous tongue twister, “She Sells Sea Shells.” Seriously, according to Wikipedia, and that’s about the only serious thing on this page. (Skim down to “Impact and Legacy.”)
Shall we see if we can say it three times?
She sells seashells on the seashore
The shells she sells are seashells, I’m sure
So if she sells seashells on the seashore
Then I’m sure she sells seashore shells.