What’s the story with seashells?

What’s the story with seashells?

Sandrine Sandrine February 17, 2022 0 Comments blog

Here at Seashell Story, we really do sell seashells by the seashore. Of course, we sell a lot of cool products, but a big part of this shop’s identity is our massive stock of seashells.

This stock comes in all shapes and sizes, including both locally found treasures and quality products shipped in from overseas sellers. 

Have you ever wondered what happens out there in the ocean before these beautiful objects make their way to our shelves? Well that’s exactly what this short blog will explain to you. 


Seashells begin their journey as the hard, protective layer of ocean-dwelling mollusks. In case you didn’t know, a mollusk is anything with a soft unsegmented body like a snail, clam, or shellfish (including New Zealand’s very own Pāua!)

A few days after baby mollusks come out from tiny eggs, they start building their shell, layer after layer. They use salt and chemicals from the sea (such as calcium and carbonate). They also use other special ingredients from their own bodies including protein.

These two things mix together like cement around steel poles. A mollusk’s shell is constantly growing as its body grows, until the mollusk inside dies.

Reaching our shelves

Following its owner’s death, the seashell wanders the ocean. Most get pounded by the waves against the rocks and sand. Over time, these shells break down. They become part of the sand. White beaches have sand made almost entirely of tiny bits of shells.

However, sometimes us humans can get to them first! Collectors find them washed up on the beach shore, nestled in rock pools, and even deep along the ocean floors.

Of course, some other enterprising animals like the hermit crab make their homes out of these shells, so it’s good to leave a few wee shells where we find them!

There you have it

We really can’t explain why humans love seashells. Something about their unique patterns, the effects from the ocean, and their texture make them beautiful to our eyes. 

There are so many different species of ocean mollusks out there, and Seashell Story stock some of the most beautiful shells in the world. We also love using the shells as containers for our home-made candles, so check out our store front now. 


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