There are an estimated 7,000 species of mollusks in the world, but only 20 of them contain pearls.
It can take anywhere from six months to four years for an oyster to cultivate these gorgeous gems, making the chances of stumbling upon them even rarer.It’s hard to believe the strands of expensive beads we gush over at jewelry stores had such simple beginnings! For those of you who snoozed through science class, here’s a refresher on how the magic happens.Essentially, if a substance of some kind manages to sneak inside an oyster’s shell, the creature naturally enters defense mode.The intruder could be something as simple as a grain a sand. The oyster produces a protective coating called nacre to reduce irritation.
That coating consists of microscopic crystals of calcium carbonate, and when enough of it has been applied to a specific location, a pearl is born. If only such wonderful reactions could come from all irritants, like mosquitos, traffic, or the common cold… Unless you’re a cultured pearl farmer, stumbling upon these stunning treasures requires some luck.
A video of one such fortunate find has recently gone viral which left viewers amazed…