The Smithsonian Magazine has once again turned their eyes to the sea. In Mad about Seashells, Richard Conniff delves into how conchylomania -- obsession with seashells -- has shaped economies, cultures, natural history, and science. Pain medicine developed from venomous sea snails. Shells priced over Vermeer paintings. Stolen specimens worth thousands of dollars. Snails that eat sharks. Communists. Poems. Tennis courts. Foul tasting mollusks. Mucus. Turn out seashells have quite an exciting life.
Check out the article for more interesting stories, beautiful photos, and a video of selections from the world’s largest shell collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.