Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Shell handedness


G’day; I waited until the posts about the handedness of natural
molluscs had died down before adding my wee bit. I live in New
Zealand, in the Southern hemisphere, very close to the sea, and my
wife and I wander along a beach two or three times a week, mostly
with downcast eyes. We stop and pick up all sorts of promising items
most of which we drop again. (but I’ve made jewellery with some stones
and bits) In the 16 years I have lived here 200 yards from the sea,
we have never once seen any shell that is other than right handed.
That is, looking on it from the peak, the whorls go around clockwise.
That is of course not to say there there aren’t any, but they’d be
very rare. So no, the direction of shell-whorls has nothing whatever
to do with being in the Northern or Southern hemisphere. And what’s
more, the water going down the plug hole in bath or sink spins left or
right at random! And Murphy’s Law works just the same here. So
there! John Burgess