[Jeju Travel – Theme and Museum] World Seashell Museum – Natural colors from under the sea

At the World Seashell Museum natural colors from under the sea are showcased alongside coral and art.

Before entering a large seashell sits in the car park.

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I wondered if the pearl was real but then quickly realized if it was it wouldn’t be there.

When you enter the first floor a strong smell of coffee aroma drifts over you.

I’m not one for drinking much coffee because it keeps me up at night however having a cup here reduces the admission price by 1,000 won.

Adults are 6,000 won, youths are 4,500 won, while children and seniors are 3,500 won to get in. That makes the World Seashell Museum cheaper than other places.

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The museum director collected over 3,200 shells to put on display. This is an amazing number when I think about it.

Actually the colder the sea the darker and thicker the shells become. Thus shells from south-east Asia are usually lighter in color because the sun’s rays can penetrate the water better.

You really do see a variety of shells and you may feel like someone has taken a paint brush to them to create such dazzling colors. I can understand why people think this way and ask questions.

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But I have to tell you all are in their natural form.

It’s like looking at an exhibition of wild flowers in some way.

To be honest I didn’t expect much from the World Seashell Museum yet I was pleasantly surprised. There is quite a lot to see and when you find out bits of information about the shells that you didn’t know before you’re left with a satisfied feeling.

You must look carefully and the museum director feels sorry for people who just rush right on through.

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This is coral. Is it a plant or an animal? I’m sure not many people know it is in fact an animal. Until the 18th century coral was regarded as a plant or mineral. Cnidaria and coelenterata are also related.

Coral is known to inhabit clean and clear sea so if it is present we known that part of the sea is good.

Right next to Jeju Island is Udo Island. There used to be a lot of coral there but now many people have taken it away with them. In a sad way, little-by-little, it has disappeared.

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Unfortunately some of the museums exhibits have also disappeared so glass has been erected to protect the items from curious human hands.

Earlier I said I was amazed at how the museum director managed to amass 3,200 shells from all over the world. Well I found out that once his friends discovered his passion for collecting they helped out too.

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Up on the second floor the director is working on a yet-to-be-completed piece containing Jeju shells. He says 20 years ago it would have been easy to get it done, but now it is not the case.

The third floor houses the director’s art gallery with so many pretty things I want to hang on my wall at home.

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Don’t worry though.

Some of it is on sale in the souvenir store which are kind of unique and special. I remember seeing “made in China”  stamps on products in other similar souvenir stores. It all felt a bit fake.

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You don’t get that feeling here. There is something genuine about what is on sale.

Finally I should say the World Seashell Museum feels more like an art gallery, but with the seashells from around the world it does have a sense of being a museum too.

Information

Address: Seogwipo-si, Seohong-dong 557-1

Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (summer) | 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (winter)

* Final admission is 1 hour prior to closing.

Admission Fee: Adults: 6,000 won | Youths: 4,500 won | Children and Seniors: 3,500 won

Web Site: http://www.wsmuseum.co.kr

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