A British commercial fishing trawler recently dredged up an ancient and giant fossilized oyster that just might contain the largest pearl the world has ever seen. But the world may never see it because opening the oyster would destroy the extremely rare fossil. What to do?
From this story in the UK Daily Mail:
A 145million-year-old oyster fossil trawled up off the south coast by fishermen could contain the mother of all pearls. Experts used medical MRI scanning technology to analyse the fossil to discover if there was a rare gem inside. And their results showed up a mysterious smooth object about the size of a golf ball. If it were removed and identified as a pearl, it could be worth many thousands of pounds. But experts will not explore the contents any further because it would mean the fossil would have to be destroyed. The oyster – which measures about 7in across – remains at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth, where it is kept securely and brought out only for lectures.
According to the story, the biggest pearls ever recorded are about half the size of this potential prehistoric pearl. So, what would you do? Keep the extremely rare fossil intact? Or crack that sucker open and get Christie’s or Sotheby’s on the phone, fast?
In this case, I’m thinking greed would have to win out over scientific integrity…