Oysters Make Pearls to Survive, Here's Why

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How do oysters make pearls? There are only 5 common types of oysters, but they actually come in 150 varieties! The largest oyster in the world is called the Pinctada maxima, and it’s as big as your dinner plate! There are around 7 types of oysters that produce pearls, and each of them gives different colors, shapes, and sizes to their treasures. The ones people eat belong to a different family than shiny pearl oysters.

Oysters in freshwater can make a pearl in 1 – 6 years. If they live in saltwater, it takes them 5 to 20 years, almost as long as their lifespan! So how are pearls produced? Well, two ways: the natural route and the cultured one. Natural pearls are very rare to find, and that makes them a lot more expensive. By the way, oysters are really good at filtering water! But don’t try to use them as your kitchen water cleaner, that's not how this works. Okay, here are some interesting facts about oysters that may surprise you.


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