2020-09-14

Conch Island — A Huge Cemetery of Millions of Conch Shells

Conch Island is not a natural an island, but a massive cemetery of conch shells. These conch seashell thrown by local fishermen on the same place over and over years and become into worlds most serene and beautiful Island.

The fishermen of the island of Anegada created an entire island of conch shell over 800 years


Conch Island —  A Huge Cemetery of Millions of Conch Shells

The fishermen of the island of Anegada created an entire island of conch shell over 800 years


Even before Columbus discovered America, most of the Caribbean islands were inhabited by Indian tribes. Their main food was seafood. Among the gifts of the sea, gastropods of the royal strombus species occupied a special position, being the basis of the diet of local residents.

For some reason, the ancient fishermen of Anegada Island, part of the British Virgin Islands, and they did not throw these beautiful shells anywhere but they took them and dumped them in specific places. As a result, over hundreds of years, several artificial islands have grown out of the water, completely consisting of some conch seashell . A are very beautiful and a desirable collectible. And here there are thousands of thousands. [Photo | Source]

Conch Island, An Island being built with conch shells


Conch Island, An Island being built with conch seashells

If from the former Indians there is a genetic trace in the blood of the current inhabitants of the island of Anegada, but they have long forgotten about the ancient traditions and culture. Except for one. According to scientists, for 800 years, local fishermen have been bringing strombus shells by boat to certain places in shallow water. That is, both ancient inhabitants and modern inhabitants are engaged in this.

Although serious scientific research on this matter was not carried out, the specialists who visited the island put forward their theory. In their opinion, these are not just artificial islands, but a kind of burial mounds. However, no human remains were found.

The massive catch of snails did not harm them at all: the fishery continues to this day. Restaurants in Anegada serve a variety of snail dishes and Conch continues to grow. For a long time it was not very famous, but when the highest point of the island reached 3.6 meters, Conch attracted the attention of travelers. 


Conch Island, An Island being built with conch shells

There is another version, more practical. According to the fishermen themselves, this is done for two reasons. First, so as not to litter the surroundings. Secondly, artificial reefs have been observed to attract marine life. Including juveniles of the mollusks themselves.

Only the restriction on visiting the area by large cruise ships and catamarans allows this unique corner of the world to exist. Lobatus gigas gastropods have some of the most beautiful shells in the world. 


Conch Island, An Island being built with conch shells

In recent decades, ocean water has become more acidic, as a result of which the size of the shellfish decreases. But at the base of the artificial reefs lie 800-year-old shells. They are much larger than modern ones, among them there are rare giants.

Conch Island, An Island being built with conch seashells

Conch Seashell graveyards in the Caribbean
Photo | Source

Sea Conch Graveyards In The Caribbean


Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
Photo | Source

Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
Photo | Source

Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
Google Earth image

Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
Photo | Source

Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
Photo | Source

Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
Photo | Source

Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
Photo | Source

Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
Conch without shell — Photo | Source

Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
Caribbean shells — Photo | Source

Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
Queen Conch ( Strombus gigas ) | Photo Source

Sea Conches graveyards in the Caribbean
conch island — Photo | Source

Conch — Photo | Source

The local residents realize how fragile the coastal ecosystem is. That is why, after catching mollusks, they do not throw away or sell their shells, but, like centuries ago, they transport them by boat to artificial islands, which have become a refuge for coastal marine life.

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