Amazing Oyster Facts

 

We all know that oysters are delicious, but what else do you know about this special creature? As it turns out, oysters are pretty amazing in more ways than just their flavor. Below we will highlight some of the more impressive (and sometimes strange) facts about oysters.

Better Than Brita

Oysters are incredible at filtering. One oyster filters approximately 50 gallons of water per day. A reef of oysters can filter enough water in a day to fill about 36 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Gender Bender

Some species of oysters can start out as one gender, and switch later if the need arises. The Ostrea genus can switch from being male, to being female for a while, and then back to being male again. Talk about flexibility.

A Pearl By Any Other Color

Although commercial pearls are often their classic white, a naturally produced pearl-which is made when a grain of sand or foreign object gets stuck in an oyster and the oyster covers it in a material called nacre in order to protect itself- can be pink, yellow or even black. To produce commercial oysters, a piece of polished mussel shell is often used.

The Sum of Their Parts

Oysters have a pretty interesting physical makeup. They have a three-chambered heart, a pair of kidneys and colorless blood. However, they do not have a central nervous system, and therefore are unlikely to experience pain in the way that we do.

Around the World

Oysters have been eaten and used for various purposes all over the world. The Chinese introduced the idea of using oyster shells in medicines. The ancient Romans used to import oysters in huge numbers, paying for them in their weight in gold.

Next time you take a nibble of a delectable oyster, pause for a moment and marvel at what an incredible animal it really is.