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Oyster Beds in Mallorca

Yesterday, my friend Lluís asked me quite nonchalantly if I liked oysters. As it happens, I do. Mind you, I did not think that now, July, was the best time to eat oysters. But, I let my friend take me to an inland site, some 25 km from the nearest coastline. There, in the middle of the island, just south of Vilafranca de Bonany he led me to a pre-historic oyster bed, dating back some 10,000,000 years, give or take a few centuries. Due south of Vilafranca there is a raised platform bank where, on close inspection, one can spot dozens, hundreds or even thousands of fossilized shells (see photo), mostly of the Ostreidae oyster variety or an ancient version thereof. An oyster bed is a place, especially on the seabed, where oysters breed and grow naturally or, nowadays, are cultivated. From the evidence of those fossils we can gather that Mallorca’s flat centre used to be below the seabed, many a moon ago. Lluís said so, and I do not doubt his word. He’s a geologist and he studied the subject long enough to know what he is talking about.

Sadly, we did not have oysters for lunch yesterday but still, the Mallorcan oyster bed is quite amazing, don’t you think? Moltes gràcies, Lluís, for showing me this hidden treasure.

The photo was taken near Vilafranca de Bonany, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: July 16th, 2011. The time was 14:00:32.

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