A normal day of fishing may become one of the most important discoveries in the pearl history: last june during a simple trawling beat a fisherman found a very unusual thing among the harvest from his net, a giant fossilized oyster.

After being duly cleaned from the think layers of mud, this prehistoric mussel has been measured and date: 17.78cm wide and 7.62cm think, this fossilized mollusc has more than 100 milion years and is 10 times bigger than a regular oyster.

The fossil has been given to the Blue Reef Aquarium of Portsmouth, Hampshire, where the experts will study the ancient mussel through its growth rings, exactly like a tree, and subject it to further analysis and an MRI scan to explore the inside parts without being invasive.

The aquarist Jenna MacFarlane of Blue Reef Aquarium explained that, on the basis of its 200 growth rings found on the rocky shell surface, this specimen may be the most longlived oyster ever found; despite the slim possibilities to still find something inside it, this oyster may conceal the biggest pearl in the world, as big as a golf ball judging by the dimentions of the fossil.

Only an MRI scan can unveil this mystery, so we only have to wait future results.


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