Conch
Overview
A conch
is a common name
Common name
A common name of a taxon or organism is a name in general use within a community; it is often contrasted with the scientific name for the same organism...

 which is applied to a number of different species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of medium-sized to large sea snail
Snail
Snail is a common name applied to most of the members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells in the adult stage. When the word is used in its most general sense, it includes sea snails, land snails and freshwater snails. The word snail without any qualifier is however more often...

s or their shells
Gastropod shell
The gastropod shell is a shell which is part of the body of a gastropod or snail, one kind of mollusc. The gastropod shell is an external skeleton or exoskeleton, which serves not only for muscle attachment, but also for protection from predators and from mechanical damage...

, generally those which are large and have a high spire
Spire (mollusc)
A spire is a descriptive term for part of the coiled shell of mollusks. The word is a convenient aid in describing shells, but it does not refer to a very precise part of shell anatomy: the spire consists of all of the whorls except for the body whorl...

 and a siphonal canal
Siphonal canal
Some sea marine gastropods have a soft tubular anterior extension of the mantle called a siphon through which water is drawn into the mantle cavity and over the gill and which serves as a chemoreceptor to locate food. In many carnivorous snails, where the siphon is particularly long, the structure...

.

True conches are marine
Marine (ocean)
Marine is an umbrella term. As an adjective it is usually applicable to things relating to the sea or ocean, such as marine biology, marine ecology and marine geology...

 gastropod molluscs in the family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 Strombidae
Strombidae
Strombidae, commonly known as the true conchs, is a taxonomic family of medium-sized to very large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Stromboidea....

, specifically in the genus Strombus
Strombus
Strombus, common name the true conchs, is a genus of medium to large sea snails with an operculum, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Strombidae, the true conchs and their immediate relatives....

and other closely related genera such as Eustrombus
Eustrombus
Lobatus is a genus of very large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Strombidae, the true conchs. :Some of the species within this genus were previously placed in the genus Eustrombus.-Species:...

.

There are also many species often called "conch" that are not in the family Strombidae, and these include Melongena
Melongena
Melongena is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Melongenidae, the crown conches and their allies.-Species:Species within the genus Melongena include:* Melongena bicolor...

species (family Melongenidae
Melongenidae
Melongenidae, the crown conchs, busycon whelks and their relatives, are a taxonomic family of large to very large marine gastropods in the clade Neogastropoda.- Taxonomy :Genera Busycon and Busycotypus were placed in Melongenidae...

), and the horse conch Pleuroploca gigantea
Pleuroploca gigantea
Pleuroploca gigantea, common name the Florida horse conch, is a species of extremely large predatory subtropical and tropical sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Fasciolariidae, the spindle snails, tulip snails and their allies....

(family Fasciolariidae
Fasciolariidae
Fasciolariidae, common name the "tulip snails and spindle snails", is a family of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Buccinoidea....

).
Encyclopedia
A conch
is a common name
Common name
A common name of a taxon or organism is a name in general use within a community; it is often contrasted with the scientific name for the same organism...

 which is applied to a number of different species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of medium-sized to large sea snail
Snail
Snail is a common name applied to most of the members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells in the adult stage. When the word is used in its most general sense, it includes sea snails, land snails and freshwater snails. The word snail without any qualifier is however more often...

s or their shells
Gastropod shell
The gastropod shell is a shell which is part of the body of a gastropod or snail, one kind of mollusc. The gastropod shell is an external skeleton or exoskeleton, which serves not only for muscle attachment, but also for protection from predators and from mechanical damage...

, generally those which are large and have a high spire
Spire (mollusc)
A spire is a descriptive term for part of the coiled shell of mollusks. The word is a convenient aid in describing shells, but it does not refer to a very precise part of shell anatomy: the spire consists of all of the whorls except for the body whorl...

 and a siphonal canal
Siphonal canal
Some sea marine gastropods have a soft tubular anterior extension of the mantle called a siphon through which water is drawn into the mantle cavity and over the gill and which serves as a chemoreceptor to locate food. In many carnivorous snails, where the siphon is particularly long, the structure...

.

True conches are marine
Marine (ocean)
Marine is an umbrella term. As an adjective it is usually applicable to things relating to the sea or ocean, such as marine biology, marine ecology and marine geology...

 gastropod molluscs in the family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 Strombidae
Strombidae
Strombidae, commonly known as the true conchs, is a taxonomic family of medium-sized to very large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Stromboidea....

, specifically in the genus Strombus
Strombus
Strombus, common name the true conchs, is a genus of medium to large sea snails with an operculum, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Strombidae, the true conchs and their immediate relatives....

and other closely related genera such as Eustrombus
Eustrombus
Lobatus is a genus of very large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Strombidae, the true conchs. :Some of the species within this genus were previously placed in the genus Eustrombus.-Species:...

.

There are also many species often called "conch" that are not in the family Strombidae, and these include Melongena
Melongena
Melongena is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Melongenidae, the crown conches and their allies.-Species:Species within the genus Melongena include:* Melongena bicolor...

species (family Melongenidae
Melongenidae
Melongenidae, the crown conchs, busycon whelks and their relatives, are a taxonomic family of large to very large marine gastropods in the clade Neogastropoda.- Taxonomy :Genera Busycon and Busycotypus were placed in Melongenidae...

), and the horse conch Pleuroploca gigantea
Pleuroploca gigantea
Pleuroploca gigantea, common name the Florida horse conch, is a species of extremely large predatory subtropical and tropical sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Fasciolariidae, the spindle snails, tulip snails and their allies....

(family Fasciolariidae
Fasciolariidae
Fasciolariidae, common name the "tulip snails and spindle snails", is a family of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Buccinoidea....

). They also include the sacred chank or more correctly Shankha
Shankha
Shankha bhasam , also spelled and pronounced as Shankh and Sankha, is a conch shell of ritual and religious importance in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is the shell of a large predatory sea snail,Turbinella pyrum found in the Indian Ocean....

 shell (Turbinella pyrum
Turbinella pyrum
Turbinella pyrum, common names the chank shell, sacred chank or chank, also known as the divine conch, sometimes referred to simply as a conch, is a species of very large sea snail with a gill and an operculum, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Turbinellidae...

) and other Turbinella species in the family Turbinellidae
Turbinellidae
Turbinellidae are a family of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the order Neogastropoda.-Distribution:Species in this family are found world-wide, mostly in tropical shallow waters but some in deep waters.- Subfamilies :...

.

Food

Second in popularity only to the escargot for edible snails, the "meat" of conches is used as food, either eaten raw, as in salad
Salad
Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes, including vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.Green salads include leaf...

s, or cooked, as in fritter
Fritter
A fritter is any kind of food coated in batter and deep fried. Although very similar to a doughnut it differs in the fact that it requires some base ingredient beyond the dough it is cooked with.-Anglo-American fritters:...

s, chowder
Chowder
In North America Chowder is a generic name for a wide variety of seafood or vegetable stews and thickened soups, often with milk or cream. Some varieties are traditionally thickened with crushed ship biscuit instead of flour, which is more usual...

s, gumbo
Gumbo
Gumbo is a stew or soup that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable holy trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions...

s, and burgers. All parts of the conch meat are edible. However, some people find only the white meat appetizing.

In East Asian cuisines, this seafood
Seafood
Seafood is any form of marine life regarded as food by humans. Seafoods include fish, molluscs , crustaceans , echinoderms . Edible sea plants, such as some seaweeds and microalgae, are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia...

 is often cut into thin slices and then steamed or stir-fried.

In the West Indies (and The Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

 in particular), local people eat conch in soups (commonly Callaloo
Callaloo
Callaloo is a popular Caribbean dish served in different variants in across the Caribbean. The main ingredient is a leaf vegetable, traditionally either amaranth , taro or Xanthosoma. Both are known by many names including callaloo, coco, tannia, bhaaji, or dasheen bush...

) and salads. Restaurants all over the islands serve this particular meat.

In Providenciales
Providenciales
Providenciales is an island in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The island has an area of and an approximate population of 15,542, making it the largest island in population and the third largest in area. It is served by the Providenciales International Airport...

 in the Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory and overseas territory of the European Union consisting of two groups of tropical islands in the Caribbean, the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands, known for tourism and as an offshore financial centre.The Turks and...

 (at Three Queens, Blue Hills) there is the Annual Conch Festival in November each year. Local restaurateurs compete for the best and original conch dishes, and are judged by international chefs. Free sampling of the dishes follows, and there are other competitions, events and music well into the evening, making this a very popular event for Islanders and tourists.

In the island of Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

, conch is commonly eaten in curries or in a spicy soup. It is locally referred to as lambi.

In Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, conch is served as a ceviche
Ceviche
Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, especially Central and South America. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chilli peppers. Additional seasonings such as onion, salt,...

: raw conch marinated in orange juice. http://www.neptunes.com/ceviche.html

Musical instruments

Conch shells can be used as wind instrument
Wind instrument
A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator , in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into a mouthpiece set at the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of...

s. They are prepared by cutting a hole in the spire
Spire (mollusc)
A spire is a descriptive term for part of the coiled shell of mollusks. The word is a convenient aid in describing shells, but it does not refer to a very precise part of shell anatomy: the spire consists of all of the whorls except for the body whorl...

 of the shell near the apex
Apex (mollusc)
Apex is an anatomical term for the tip of the mollusc shell of a gastropod, scaphopod, or cephalopod mollusc.-Gastropods:The word "apex" is most often used to mean the tip of the spire of the shell of a gastropod...

, and then blowing into the shell as if it were a trumpet, as in blowing horn
Blowing horn
The blowing horn or winding horn is a sound device by and large shaped like a horn or actually a cattle or other animal horn arranged to blow from a hole in the pointed end of it...

. Sometimes a mouthpiece is used, but some shell trumpets are blown without one.

Various species of large marine gastropod shell
Gastropod shell
The gastropod shell is a shell which is part of the body of a gastropod or snail, one kind of mollusc. The gastropod shell is an external skeleton or exoskeleton, which serves not only for muscle attachment, but also for protection from predators and from mechanical damage...

s can be turned into "blowing shells", but some of the best-known species used are the sacred chank or shankha
Shankha
Shankha bhasam , also spelled and pronounced as Shankh and Sankha, is a conch shell of ritual and religious importance in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is the shell of a large predatory sea snail,Turbinella pyrum found in the Indian Ocean....

 Turbinella pyrum
Turbinella pyrum
Turbinella pyrum, common names the chank shell, sacred chank or chank, also known as the divine conch, sometimes referred to simply as a conch, is a species of very large sea snail with a gill and an operculum, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Turbinellidae...

, the "Triton's trumpet" Charonia tritonis
Charonia tritonis
Charonia tritonis, common name Triton's trumpet, is a species of very large sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Ranellidae, the tritons.Also see Charonia or Triton .-Distribution:...

, and the Queen Conch Strombus gigas
Strombus gigas
Lobatus gigas, commonly known as the queen conch, is a species of large edible sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family of true conchs, the Strombidae...

.

Pearls

Many gastropods (snails and sea snails, of which the conch is the latter) produce pearl
Pearl
A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other...

s, and those of the Queen Conch, Strombus gigas, have been collectors' items since Victorian times. Conch pearls
Pearl
A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other...

 come in a range of hues, including white, brown and orange and many intermediate shades, but pink is the colour most associated with the conch pearl. Conch pearls are sometimes referred to simply as 'pink pearls'. In some gemmological texts, non-nacreous gastropod pearls used to be referred to as 'calcareous concretions' because they were 'porcellaneous' (i.e. shiny and ceramic-like) in appearance rather than 'nacreous' (i.e. with a pearly luster sometimes known as 'orient'). The GIA and CIBJO now simply use the term 'pearl' (or, where appropriate, the more descriptive term 'non-nacreous pearl') when referring to such items and, under Federal Trade Commission rules, various mollusc pearls may be referred to as 'pearls' without qualification.
Although non-nacreous, the surface of fine Conch pearls has a unique and attractive appearance of its own. The microstructure of conch pearls comprises partly aligned bundles of microcrystalline fibres which create a shimmering, slightly iridescent
Iridescence
Iridescence is generally known as the property of certain surfaces which appear to change color as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes...

 effect known as 'flame structure'. The effect is a form of chatoyancy
Chatoyancy
In gemology, chatoyancy , or chatoyance, is an optical reflectance effect seen in certain gemstones. Coined from the French "œil de chat," meaning "cat's eye," chatoyancy arises either from the fibrous structure of a material, as in tiger eye quartz, or from fibrous inclusions or cavities within...

, caused by the interaction of light rays with the microcrystals in the pearl's surface, and it somewhat resembles Moiré
Moire (fabric)
In textiles, a moire is a fabric with a wavy appearance produced mainly from silk, but also wool, cotton and rayon. The watered appearance is usually created by the finishing technique called calendering...

 silk.

Other uses

  • Conch shells are sometimes used as decoration, as decorative planters, and in cameo making.
  • In classic Mayan art, conches are shown being utilized in many ways including as paint and ink holders for elite scribes, as bugles or trumpets, and as hand weapons (held by combatants by inserting their hands in the aperture).
  • Some American Aboriginals used cylindrical conch columella beads as part of breastplates and other personal adornment.
  • In some Caribbean
    Caribbean
    The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

     and African American cemeteries, conch shells are placed on graves.
  • In some Caribbean countries, cleaned Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) shells, or polished fragments, are sold, mainly to tourists, as souvenir
    Souvenir
    A souvenir , memento, keepsake or token of remembrance is an object a person acquires for the memories the owner associates with it. The term souvenir brings to mind the mass-produced kitsch that is the main commodity of souvenir and gift shops in many tourist traps around the world...

    s or in jewelry. Responding to a 2003 recommendation from CITES, some countries in the Caribbean have banned the export of Queen Conch shells. CITES has also asked all countries to ban import of Queen Conch shells from countries that are not complying with CITES recommendations for managing the fishery. Queen Conch fisheries have also been closed in several countries. Conch shells or fragments taken home by tourists from non-complying countries may be confiscated on return to the tourist's home country while clearing customs
    Customs
    Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

    . In the UK
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     conch shells are the ninth most seized import.
  • Conch shells are occasionally used as a building material, either in place of bricks, or as bulk for landfill.
  • In Grenada
    Grenada
    Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

     fishermen use Conch shells to announce to the community that fish is available for sale. It is also used at Carnival times in the popular Jouvert Jump where Diab Diab (Jab Jab) mas blow conch shells as part of the festivities. Especially in Guadeloupe
    Guadeloupe
    Guadeloupe is an archipelago located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and a population of 400,000. It is the first overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. As with the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe...

    , it is not uncommon to hear Conch shells being blown near ports at dawn and during Carnival times too. Many bands are making of the Conch shell a main instrument.
  • In the Bahamas, broken or up-turned conch shells are imbedded into the tops of outdoor walls in an effort to maintain home security; the broken or up-turned shells are sharp enough to cut any intruder who attempts to jump or crawl over the wall.

Hinduism

A Shankha shell (the shell of a Turbinella pyrum
Turbinella pyrum
Turbinella pyrum, common names the chank shell, sacred chank or chank, also known as the divine conch, sometimes referred to simply as a conch, is a species of very large sea snail with a gill and an operculum, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Turbinellidae...

, a species in the gastropod family Turbinellidae
Turbinellidae
Turbinellidae are a family of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the order Neogastropoda.-Distribution:Species in this family are found world-wide, mostly in tropical shallow waters but some in deep waters.- Subfamilies :...

) is often referred to in the West as a conch shell, or a chank shell. This shell is used as an important ritual object in Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

. The shell is used as a ceremonial trumpet, as part of religious practices, for example puja. The chank trumpet is sounded during worship at specific points, accompanied by ceremonial bells and singing. As it is an auspicious instrument, it is often played in a Lakshmi
Lakshmi
Lakshmi or Lakumi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity , light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments...

 puja in temple or at home.

In the story of Dhruva
Dhruva
In the Hindu mythology, Dhruva is a devotee of the god Vishnu, who blessed to attain the position of the polar star, also known as Dhruva in Sanskrit. Dhruva was the son of Uttānapāda...

 the divine conch plays a special part. The warriors of ancient India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 blew conch shells to announce battle, as is described in the beginning of the war of Kurukshetra, in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, the famous Hindu epic.

The god of Preservation, Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

, is said to hold a special conch, Panchajanya, that represents life, as it has come out of life-giving waters.

Also, the sound of the conch is believed to drive away the evil spirits.
The blowing of the conch or "the Shankha" needs a tremendous power and respiratory capacity.Hence, blowing it daily helps keep the lungs healthy.

Buddhism

Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 has also incorporated the conch shell, Turbinella pyrum
Turbinella pyrum
Turbinella pyrum, common names the chank shell, sacred chank or chank, also known as the divine conch, sometimes referred to simply as a conch, is a species of very large sea snail with a gill and an operculum, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Turbinellidae...

, as one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols.

Ancient Peru

The Moche
Moche
'The Moche civilization flourished in northern Peru from about 100 AD to 800 AD, during the Regional Development Epoch. While this issue is the subject of some debate, many scholars contend that the Moche were not politically organized as a monolithic empire or state...

 people of ancient Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 worshiped the sea and often depicted conch shells in their art.

Literature and the oral tradition

William Golding
William Golding
Sir William Gerald Golding was a British novelist, poet, playwright and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, best known for his novel Lord of the Flies...

's Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding about a group of British boys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, with disastrous results...

features frequent references to "the conch". In the book the conch is used as a trumpet to call everyone together and held by whoever is speaking at meetings, symbolically representing democracy and order. The conch is seen as a delicate and beautiful object to represent this concept although its fragility is shown when it "exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist."

The famous Old English riddle
Riddle
A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. Riddles are of two types: enigmas, which are problems generally expressed in metaphorical or allegorical language that require ingenuity and careful thinking for their solution, and...

 Ic wæs be Sonde describes a conch: "I was by sound, near seawall, at ocean-stream; I dwelt alone in my first resting place. ... Little did I know that I, ere or since, ever should speak mouthless over mead-benches." Another meaning given to this riddle ‘Ic wæs be Sonde’ is that the sound of the conch corresponds to spiritualised sound as heard in higher realms. In the Hindu tradition, the conch shell is used in ceremony as the sound it makes is said to correspond with higher frequency universal sounds associated with music of the spheres.

In popular folklore, it is believed that if one holds an open conch shell (or any other large marine snail shell) to the ear, the ocean can be heard. This phenomenon is caused by the resonant cavity of the shell producing a form of pink noise
Pink noise
Pink noise or 1/ƒ noise is a signal or process with a frequency spectrum such that the power spectral density is inversely proportional to the frequency. In pink noise, each octave carries an equal amount of noise power...

 from the surrounding background ambiance.

In Prakrit
Prakrit
Prakrit is the name for a group of Middle Indic, Indo-Aryan languages, derived from Old Indic dialects. The word itself has a flexible definition, being defined sometimes as, "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", or "vernacular", in contrast to the literary and religious...

 poetry the conch (शंख; shankha
Shankha
Shankha bhasam , also spelled and pronounced as Shankh and Sankha, is a conch shell of ritual and religious importance in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is the shell of a large predatory sea snail,Turbinella pyrum found in the Indian Ocean....

) has an erotic connotation:
Look,
a still, quiet crane
shines on a lotus leaf
like a conch shell lying
on a flawless emerald plate.


(Hāla
Hala
Hala can refer to:* Hala , an Arabic given name meaning "sweetness"* An informal salutation or greeting in the Arabic language* Hāla, an Indian king of the Satavahana dynasty* Hala , a clan of India and Pakistan...

's gāhā sattasaī 1.4; tr. M. Selby)

Ostional a pueblo
Pueblo
Pueblo is a term used to describe modern communities of Native Americans in the Southwestern United States of America. The first Spanish explorers of the Southwest used this term to describe the communities housed in apartment-like structures built of stone, adobe mud, and other local material...

 in the municipality of San Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur is a municipality and coastal town on the Pacific Ocean, in the Rivas department in south-west Nicaragua. San Juan del Sur is popular among surfers and is a vacation spot for many Nicaraguan families and foreign tourists....

 in the Rivas Department of the Southwest region of Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 was, by accounts of multiple testimonials in the local region, to be founded by their indigenous ancestors due to an abundant conch population at the sea shore to which they migrated. Subsequently, the tribe
Tribe
A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...

 used the shells of the conch in many held rituals and customs. In 2008, it was reported by witnesses of local archaeological dig that conch shells were found within the graves of some indigenous people within their recently rediscovered cemetery
Cemetery
A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried. The term "cemetery" implies that the land is specifically designated as a burying ground. Cemeteries in the Western world are where the final ceremonies of death are observed...

grounds. Some still maintained jade stones, implying the significance of conch shells within their tribal society.
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