A man in Florida was walking with his family on a beach when he found an abnormally large clam. It turns out it was not only big but extremely old – and dates back to 1809.
Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, a research lab and aquarium, said Blaine Parker was on Alligator Point, a Florida beach on the Gulf of Mexico, when he found the quahog clam.
Most of these clams are 2.8 to 4.3 inches, according to the lab, but Parker’s was six inches and 2.6 pounds.
Quahogs have concentric growth rings, according to NOAA. Like the rings inside the trees, the number of rings on the clam’s shell tells its age.
Parker counted 214 rings on the clam – dating it back to 1809. That happens to be the year President Abraham Lincoln was born. So, the clam was given a very apropos name: Aber-clam Lincoln.
Quahogss are often harvested to eat, which is exactly what Parker was looking to do with it, thinking he’d get at least two servings of chowder out of the giant mollusk. “We were just going to eat it, but we thought about it a while and figured it was probably pretty special. So, we didn’t want to kill it,” he told the Tallahassee Democrat.
Instead, he took it to the lab where he works, according to the publication. Aber-clam Lincoln was attracting about 100 visitors a day, but last week, caretakers at the lab released it back into the Gulf of Mexico.