Wednesday Hump Day Fun Fact # 32

Posted by Daubin Barshtak on October 09, 2013.

Most jewelry to date is fashioned using precious metals and jewels that are excavated from the earth. However, pearls are a natural occurrence that can be found inside a living animal. Most commonly pearls are discovered inside oysters, although, they have been discovered in other mollusks such as clams and mussels. But how are these pearls formed? The formation of a natural pearl begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, which irritate­s the mantle. It's akin to the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster's natural reaction is to cover up that irritant to protect itself. The man­tle covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell. This eventually forms a pearl. It can take anywhere between 2 and 12 years for these amazing gems to form.

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