The Shell Collection – Unearthed After Decades

Under my bed, unseen by all but a few eyes for decades, is my shell collection.  Even I almost forgot it existed.  Dozens upon dozens of shells of land snails, freshwater snails, sea shells, all gathered when I was a kid, some quite rare, some no larger than grains of sand. They are completely chaotic and out of order, largely unlabelled and packed in … well!  I used to make paper polyhedra, and I guess they were quite good recycled into boxes here. Inside them is package after package, some shells inside emptied vitamin capsules, some just wrapped in tissue. It is just about the most eccentric thing I have seen in a long time!


It seems an ignominious fate to be boxed up and forgotten down there in the dust. I really need to get in there and sort this out – get them into order, and repackage them so they are easier to actually look at.  I would also love to image them all and make a gallery, but to do that I’d need a digital microscope, I am sure.

However, I am actually not going to open this stashed land snail shell collection any further just yet. I am going to wait until I have thought it through and decided what to do with them to keep them safe.

What I did find was two microsnail specimens that had been separated and stuck on decades-old blu-tack for some reason. Here they are popped on the scanner with a new pound coin and the resolution turned up to the maximum.


This is the kind of thing I was playing with when I was a kid – hours and hours or years of work hunting these things down in various places around the country. And you know … opening them up now feels really really weird. Quite emotional.

I will hopefully get some much better images of these in the future.





Published in: on May 29, 2017 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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