ANIMALS Moments You Never Forget … (No. 38)

Posted by on 5. April 2013
Pinna nobilis

Almost hidden in algae – the giant Noble Pen Shell

Pinna nobilis

... and here it stands in the open!

It happened to me, who is not an experienced diver: I swam near the Italian island of Elba, reach the bottom of the sea in about 5 m or 15 feet – and encountered a mystic experience: Giant sea shells, about 80 cm or almost 3 feet high, standing upright in the sand, some bearded like Trolls, others polished and ready to grab me. What the h …, I thought but later experienced Neptuns told me that I had seen something rare indeed, but nothing unusual. These giants are the Pinna nobilis, the largest clam on earth, living near the coasts around the Mediterranean Sea only. That’s bad because it means they are in eternal danger of men. An advantage of their lifestyle is, that they can be moved by hand: Just pull them out and ram them into safer ground. Silly me asked Italian friends if the „Nobel Pen Shell“ (that’s the proper English name) can be eaten; but they said they had never seen it on a menu, obviously the giant doesn’t taste very good.


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