miércoles, 24 de agosto de 2016

The Story of the Biggest Pearl in the World!


Hello there and I am very happy to be back in the Blogging saddle! Today I would like to add my commentaries on a recent news that has garnered world attention (in a positive way): the story of the World’s Biggest & Most Humongous Natural Pearl!

This particular pearl is said to weigh in at 34 kilos (a whopping 75 pounds!), which means it is heavier than my 10-year old daughter Jessica. What kind of animal could have made such a humongous pearl? The only mollusk with the size to make this miracle possible is the “Giant Clam” (Tridacna gigas), and the story of a Philippine fisherman and this pearl has –by now- become famous. Many news sites have shared the news, but few have offered a full account of the story, the one I believe had the best account was the Spanish version of BBC News.

And the thing I liked the most about this story has less to do with the pearl and more to do with the Human story that surrounds the pearl.

A New Myth In the Making

It is said that a fisherman was out there doing his “thing” when a storm approached, so he had to return to land. Fortunately for him –in this case it is!- his anchor would not dislodge from the bottom so he could not leave, so he had to dive into the waters to remove the anchor and to his surprise he found a clam had bitten his anchor. What to do next? Obviously he was in a rush to finish this so he picked up the clam, placed it in his boat and then sailed back home; just one small issue that got into my mind: the pearl itself weighs in at 34 kilos/75 pounds and so…just how BIG was the clam?!?!?!?! I mean, these clams can attain a weight of some 300 kilos/661 pounds (some have been said to even reach 400 kilo/881 pounds!) so, it is very likely the clam was a very large one…how could he lift it up from the bottom? How could he manage to raise it up into the boat??? I can almost imagine the fishermen with an average height and weight of 1.70 meters (5.5 feet) and 65 kilos (143 pounds), hauling up this massive animal from out of the water! And it is this is just what makes me think that this entire story is more myth than reality, but this is still a Fantastic & Loveable Story.

Thus, this unnamed fisherman goes back home with this giant clam, unloads it from his boat and hopefully takes it home in a pick up truck (hope some friends helped him with it and they did not leave to their homes since a storm was approaching). He probably prepared the delicious meat of the clam but finding this unusually large and extremely weird shaped pearl was a thing to remember I imagine!

Giant Pearl Tridacna

Now, quite differently to a regular person, this man doesn’t rush out to find a buyer for this great treasure but instead decides to keep this one as a very big lucky charm and places it under his bed for the next 10 years.

Why would he do such a thing?!?!?!? Well, to attract Luck! In some cultures pearls are considered to be great good luck charms that extend their powers even unto the whole family, but the pearl has been appraised at around $100 million dollars…that is sufficiently lucky in my book. Now, unless the pearl has been appraised by a reputable Gem Lab (GIA, SSEF, etc.) I would never pay for one of these giant clam pearls…I would actually only go far as to pay $10 million tops.

What made this man change his mind about the pearl??? A twist of fate: his house burned down. He felt the pearl had not brought him the luck he desired so he decides to give it to the local Touristic authorities, for the good of the whole town of Puerto Príncipe, in Palawan, Philippines. This is an incredibly good willed gesture…unless it may end up burning the entire village (this is absolutely a joke). So far it has begun to work by attracting regional tourism into the town.

What do you think of this story? Do you believe that a lone fisherman found this huge pearl? Is it a real pearl or a polished shell hoax? Whatever the answers are I believe this is one great story!

Turistas perla gigante

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