One of the things that our children are most fascinated by is the roar of the waves coming from a seashell, a soft, relaxing sound that has a precise origin. In fact, the air contained in the cavity of this small skeleton, left empty by the animal that inhabited it, combines the sounds created by the wind passing between the ear and the shell with the surrounding ambient noises. The sounds is repeated inside the shell – made of calcium carbonate – and creates the illusion of hearing the sound of sea waves.
OFF TO WORK, HERMIT CRAB!
A shell can have many different colours and its pigment varies according to the main element: yellow if it is carotenoids, black or brown if it contains melanin, green if it is porphyrin, blue or red for indigoids. Just imagine that even the diet of the little hermit crab can affect the shell’s colour! But how is the seashell born, the home of our little friend? It’s a simple process: the crustacean recovers the calcium present in the environment where it lives, namely water and land, then filters it to transform it into crystals and layer after layer the shell is formed.
In some cases, these crystals create what is called mother of pearl, i.e. one of the inner layers of the shell that from time immemorial is being used to create objects. Oysters, for example, have always been big “producers” of mother of pearl.
And if you want to feast your eyes on not just dozens but as many as 1 million specimen, the Museo Malacologico Piceno of Cupra Marittima, in the Marche region, is the place for you. Just a little outfield – so to speak – we find the wonderful island of Fadiouth, off the coast of Senegal: here the entire surface is covered in seashells: Seeing is believing!
What can we do with seashells - strictly without the inner mollusc - besides admiring them? There are so many objects and accessories that could embellish our homes, crafts that can be made at home involving parents and children.
With enough seashells, we can make a photo frame, to hold one of the images we will take during our vacation and keep sweet memories alive. And if we want to be even more creative, we can play stylists and use the seashells to create pendants or necklaces to show off.
Another way to reuse our beloved shells has to do with your children’s name: dear mums and dads, many parents hang their child’s name initial on the kid’s bedroom door. So why not making it together, as a family, using the seashells? The result will be certainly splashy! In the end, at the beach or at home, all it takes is to have some seashells and run with your imagination!