The sound of seashells on the beach (1)


 (don’t forget to turn the sound up)

Millions of empty seashells wash ashore at Rhossili in Gower. They often form extensive lines running for hundreds of metres along the sand on the upper shore – strandlines or drifts. Sometimes the shells are mostly a single species, such as the razor shell-like Pharus legumen (L.) in this short movie.

I love seashells and normally (perhaps irrationally) try to avoid treading on them but most people just walk across them. In fact, it is quite difficult to avoid stepping on them and breaking them altogether – and, of course, they all get broken one way or another in the end. The fine fragments of shell become incorporated into the sand. It has to be admitted that deliberately walking along the shelly strandline feels somehow a bit wicked but it certainly makes a wonderful rich crunching sound – and reminds me of kicking up crisp dried fallen leaves in autumn as a child.


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