Skip to comments.Sand dollar found in Florida might be new world record
Posted on 07/24/2020 12:27:29 PM PDT by Red Badger
An Ohio 11-year-old visiting Florida discovered what his family said might be a new world record for the largest sand dollar. Photo by mosaikweb/Pixabay.com
July 24 (UPI) -- An 11-year-old Ohio boy vacationing with his family in Florida discovered what his family believes could be a new record for the world's largest sand dollar.
Syler Elliott, 11, of Newark, was visiting family in Destin when he took a boat ride with his father and uncle.
Elliott said he spotted a sand dollar under water and decided to dive 12 to 15 feet to retrieve it.
"I thought it was just gonna be a little thing," Elliott told the Northwest Florida Daily News. "I feel so happy and excited about it."
Elliott's family said the sand dollar is being kept safe in a box until it can be examined by Guinness World Records. They said it's about 6 inches in diameter.
The current world record holder for the largest sand dollar was found by Neko Wong, a British Columbia fourth-grader vacationing in Mexico. Her sand dollar measured 6.49 inches in diameter.
Elliott's grandfather, Ben Rodgers, said he isn't sure if the boy's sand dollar beats the world record, but he is certain it will be declared a new Florida state record.
"It's definitely gonna be a new Florida record, which we think is really cool," Rodgers said. "A kid from Ohio finds a Florida record sand dollar. Plus, being 11, he's not a professional diver; he just loves the outdoors. It's a whole series of neat experiences for us."
Margaret C. Gallitzin
It is difficult to find a shell so rich in symbolism as the sand dollar. When I was a girl, I saw my first sand dollar which I later learned was called the key hole sand dollar and my uncle, a priest, explained to me how it represented the story of the Birth, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I never forgot that lesson of how to see God in visible Creation.
front sand dollar
The sand dollar - front above, and back below
sand dollar back
The sand dollar is flat-looking burrowing sea urchin belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. It lives on the floor of shallow sandy waters along the coasts of ocean waters in the Northern Hemisphere. The mollusks are washed up on Oregon Coast beaches regularly.
After the urchin is washed up on the beach and bleached by the sun, it looks like a large silver coin, such as the old Spanish or American dollar. Ergo, its simple American name. In other places it is known as the sea biscuit or pansy shell.
It was not long, however, before a legend rich in Catholic symbolism developed about the poorly named sand dollar. This was the story my uncle told me:
On the top part of the shell you can clearly see in the center a star, which represents the Star of Bethlehem that led the Wise Men to the manger when Christ was born. Around it is the outline of the Easter lily, a sign of Our Lords Resurrection.
At the edges of the star are four holes and in the center another one. These remind us of the four Sacred Wounds of Our Lord on His Hands and Feet that He bore after being nailed to the Cross. A center hole, the fifth, represents the pierce Wound to His Sacred Heart made by the spear of Longinus.
If you turn the sand dollar over, you will find an outline of the Poinsetta, the Christmas flower.
The sand dollar always has five doves inside
Finally, if you break open the sand dollar, five "doves" emerge the doves of the Peace and Joy of Christmas. There are always five doves every time you open one.
Many poems have been written about the legend of the sand dollar. This one, author unknown, is my favorite:
The legend of the Sand dollar That I would like to tell Of the birth and death of Jesus Christ Found in this lowly shell.
If you will examine closely, You'll see that you find here Four nail holes and a fifth one Made by a Roman's spear.
On one side the Easter Lily, It's center is the star That appeared unto the shepherds And led them from afar.
The Christmas Poinsettia Etched on the other side Reminds us of His birthday, Our joyous Christmas tide.
Now break the center open And here you will release The five white doves awaiting To spread good will and peace.
This simple little symbol, Christ left for you and me. To help to spread His Message Through all eternity.
This is the first time I ever knew there were ‘doves’ inside the sand dollar. How cool is that?!
Beautiful poem! I have never heard this beautiful story.
Hope your recovery is going well.
thought you would enjoy this Catholic story.
When I was in the Army, we were in Honduras on a deserted beach. Walking in the water waist deep every step you took was on top of a sand dollar. They were everywhere. Obviously they broke when stood on. Unfortunately we were not allowed to bring anything home.
Was this sand dollar the boy found still alive?
I tell the story to tourists on the beach looking at sand dollars they find in the surf.
Most have never heard it, either.................
Likely not. They look totally different when they’re alive. The following is a great video about them.
Here is better formatted:
Kewl. ‘Will take a close look at ours tonight.
As a boy in the late 1960’s, I remember finding large numbers of fossilized sand dollars in the hills in and around San Diego. Those areas are probably now under miles of housing tracts.
The real authority would be a Marine Biologist.
I’ve got a bunch of these that I collected off the beaches of Marco Island. I’m pretty sure some of them are close to six inches in diameter.
I’d walk the beach here in WA and collect a whole bag of them, and in pristine condition. Some I had to bleach but normally not. I’d pass them out.
I always bleach any I find. They will smell like rotten fish if you don’t.....................
Hmm - never had that problem. Where do you find yours? I go to Westport in WA.
I didn’t know about the ‘doves’ inside, either.
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