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572 Views 5 Replies Last post: Jun 18, 2014 10:11 PM by MartinG RSS
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Jun 17, 2014 2:27 PM

Bone-like thing found on the beach in Cornwall

This object was found on a beach in Cornwall about ten years ago. It was lying on the surface, below the tide line, so I am assuming it was washed in with the tide. It is 13.5 cm wide, 8.0 cm deep and quite uniformly 1.0 cm thick. It is very light for its size and utterly inflexible. When I found it the colour was a much brighter pink but it has been sat in my windowsill for ten years.

 

One edge of it appears to be broken off a much larger piece, and the "straight edge" has a very machined feel to it.

 

I have two guesses, both of which I can find fault with.

 

1. From the even curvature it looks to be part of the skull of something, a whale of some type perhaps. But the colour makes me suspect not since I don't think bone is normally coloured like this.

 

2. Part of a shell, a conch or clam shell or something like that. The thickness, however, makes me wonder how long it would take for a shell to grow that thick, and do shells grow that thick in British waters?

 

 

 

inside curve.JPGoutside curve.JPGstraight edge.JPG

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    Jun 17, 2014 9:07 PM (in response to MartinG)
    Re: Bone-like thing found on the beach in Cornwall

    The thickness seems too perfect, I think it is a piece of pottery.

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    Jun 18, 2014 5:51 PM (in response to MartinG)
    Re: Bone-like thing found on the beach in Cornwall

    The colour, the size, the thickness, the rigidity and uniformity of this suggests to me it is part of a broken fishermans' bouy - the sort of thing that fishermen use to mark a line of lobster pots. It seems to have bleached over the years you have had it - you say it was brighter pink ten years ago - Maybe orange even? I know some of these bouys do loose their bright colour after years of exposure outside - sunlight does nasty things to some rubbers and plastics.

    The broken edge also suggests a machined edge. Maybe this is the join of the two halves of the sphere which make up these floats/bouys.

    I am always picking up interesting bits of fishing gear like this - its almost as interesing as the natural stuff we find washed up.

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        Jun 18, 2014 9:39 PM (in response to MartinG)
        Re: Bone-like thing found on the beach in Cornwall

        I think the bouy idea is a good one, if not a fishermans bouy perhaps a float from an old toilet cistern. Anyway Plastics melt and pottery/shell does not. If you don't mind a bit of destructive testing then heat a needle red hot (hold it in pliers) and push it into the object. If it is plastic then it will melt it and go in and if it resits it it is not plastic. I also tend to use the very old fashion 'tap it on your front teeth and see what it feels like'; this is obviously extremely dangerous if you don't know if it is poisonous, tapping it on a drinking glass can tell you a simillar thing. Pottery will make a different sound to plastic, even hard plastic.

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