Seashell hunting is a popular pastime for many Myrtle Beach visitors. Part of the fun comes from identifying your finds, especially when you come across an unusual or pristine shell along the shore. Although South Carolina is home to a wide variety of shells, here are some of our favorite and most common shells from Myrtle Beach, which might interest you in taking up seashell hunting as a new hobby for your retirement in Myrtle Beach SC.
When and Where to Seashell Hunt
The ideal time to locate seashells on the beach is at low tide or as the tide is receding, especially after a large storm when the larger waves can carry amazing findings to the shore. Seashells can be found in abundance in Myrtle Beach, but if you’re looking for a haul, it is worth making the trip to less-frequented beaches such as Garden City Beach and Pawleys Island instead.
While seashell hunting, please show respect for the wildlife. Do not take live starfish, sand dollars, or shells that still have critters inside of them.
Types of Seashells
Named in 1984 as South Carolina’s state shell, the lettered olive is a shiny, smooth shell with brown markings and a cylindrical shape. Found along the coast of South Carolina and even in Brazil, they can reach up to three inches long.
The banded tulip has stripes along its body and a spindle-like appearance. Cream-colored with streaks of pink, the sleek and delicate shell is home to a ruthless snail. The carnivorous black snail chows down on its prey by punching a hole in its victim’s shell with its tongue.
Due to their colorful and shiny exteriors, jingle shells, also known as witch’s toenails, are a favorite among beachgoers. They are often silver, golden, yellow, or brown and make jingling sounds in the wind when strung together as decoration.
Heart cockles are clam shells typically found along the coastline of Myrtle Beach. Usually found separated, they resemble a heart while still attached. The 3 to 5-inchwide shells have a pink, rosy interior and a white or yellowish exterior.
Starfish and Sand Dollars
Starfish have five limbs and bony skin to protect themselves from predators. If necessary, they can regenerate limbs. Some species are even capable of regenerating an entire starfish from a single remaining limb. Occasionally, starfish will wash ashore in large numbers along the beaches in the Myrtle Beach area. They should not be removed from the shore as they are often still alive.
Sand dollars can be found near the coast, just below the sand. Live sand dollars have tiny spines and hairs protruding from their bodies, which allow them to travel across the ocean floor. To check if it is alive, flip it over and gently rub the surface to see if any of the Celia is moving. If you encounter a live sand dollar on the beach in South Carolina, snap a photo of it and let it free. Removing it from the beach is illegal! Dead sand dollars are motionless and gray. If you wish to keep one as a souvenir, rinse it thoroughly and soak it in bleach to whiten it.
Our senior living community offers a wide range of senior living activities for you in your golden years. If you’re looking for a retirement community in Myrtle Beach, SC, contact us today to schedule a tour and find out more about our community!