Beachcombing: Finding Sea Life
-by Michelle Dalida
The hottest summer spot is the beach. And, even though people
usually go to the beach for the cool water and the warm sun, if
you’re lucky and you’re on the lookout you will find that the
beach is booming with sea life. Even if you don’t know what
“beachcombing” means, you’ve probably done it before…
It’s merely the term used for when people go up and down the
beach looking for seashells, treasure, etc. While anyone can
beachcomb, here are some specific tips you can use when looking
If you’re at a rocky beach, chances are you
can find starfish. Starfish cling to the rocks underwater near
the shore, so wait for low tide to spot them. Look for bright
colors like red, yellow, orange or purple. If you want to take
your treasure home, the best way to preserve a starfish is to
soak it in 70% isopropyl alcohol overnight. Then let it dry
completely on a paper towel out of sunlight. Tip: weigh down the
legs so they don’t curl up as they dry.
favorite of beachcombers is the Sand Dollar. Again, you’ll want
to wait for low tide. (the best time would be low tide after a
storm) However, unlike starfish, Sand Dollars are very fragile,
so try bringing a small bowl lined with a paper towel with you
if you’re planning to go sand dollar hunting. Sand
Dollars will be white and 1 to 4 inches in diameter. And don’t
worry; the white ones are dead sand dollars. Live Sand Dollars
are brown and fuzzy. (not the prettiest things in the world).
How to Preserve a Sand dollar:
your sand dollar in fresh water.
the water frequently, as it will turn brown and start to smell.
Continue until the water stays clear.
Step3: Mix a
solution of 2/3 fresh water and 1/3 bleach and let the sand
dollars soak for about 10 to 15 minutes.
with fresh water and let dry.
water and white glue in equal portions.
Step6: Use a
foam brush to cover the sand dollars completely with the glue
Step7: Let the
sand dollars dry completely before using in jewelry or
While you might not find a Sand Dollar or
starfish every time you go to the beach, it is likely that there
will be plenty of seashells at every turn. These make great
mementos, but if not cleaned properly , they can emit a terrible
First, make sure your seashells are no
longer home to any animals; we don’t want to hurt any animals -
whether on land or in the sea. Before you start cleaning your
seashells, wear protective eyewear at all times. Making sure
your seashells are clean will not only protect you from germs
but can also purify the beauty of the shell. Take a look at the
shell below, before and after a cleaning.
In order to make your shells look like this, soak them in a
solution of 50-50 bleach and water. Time will vary. If there
are still barnacles on the shell after a good soak, try a water
pick, toothbrush or grill brush to scrub them away.
Shells may also have rough lips. Lips are the part of the
shell that outlines the opening, these may be chipped or rough
and can cause cuts. Use a rotary grinder or file to smooth the
lip down. Finally, when your shell is nice and clean, you can
really make it shine with mineral oil or baby oil.
daily pet news updates by Michelle at her blog,