He found clams on Florida beaches to make chowder.then he counted the rings

A Florida man and his family found what they believed to be ingredients for dinner on a Gulf of Mexico beach last month.

According to a recent Facebook post at the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea, near Tallahassee, employee Blaine Parker was walking through Alligator Point on the Panhandle on February 18, looking for shellfish to make “chowder.” I was.

During a sandy walk, the crew came across a giant Quahog, aka an edible clam. A photo of a monster mollusk on the Institute’s page illustrates the situation, one photo shows a smiling Parker barely able to hold the whole thing in his palm.

“We were going to eat it, but after thinking about it for a while, we thought it was probably pretty special,” said a seafood lover. told the Tallahassee Democrat. “We didn’t want to kill it.”

Not only did Parker realize that this chance encounter was important, but he knew full well that to determine the age of a clam, the rings on its shell, similar to those on trees, were counted.

In total, the clam had 214 layers.

Let’s do the math: This mollusk has been around for a very long time.

Ok, they did the math for you: Hatched in 1809.

Parker took it to a colleague at the Marine Research Institute. Ocean Quahog, Arctica Islandica.

“Age can be calculated by the number of layers in a shell, each layer representing a year,” read the post.

They all nicknamed “Abercrum Lincoln,” the 16th president born that year, because the discovery took place over President’s Day weekend.

According to the research center, ocean quahogs can live to be over 200 years old, so this sight isn’t. or Unusual. Experts do not recommend making meals out of it, as it is commercially eaten at 20 years old when it is ripe and young and tender like a chicken in the spring.

Yes, Abe was saved. Last Friday, the lab’s caretakers returned the “majestic” creature to its “natural habitat in which it was found,” allowing it to live a full life without too much human disturbance.

Commentators loved stories about fish out of water:

“He wanted to retire in Florida,” joked one.

“Eating 214-year-old clam chowder is unique in itself,” wrote another. “It’s not great knowing you have the smarts to save it.”

Someone else summed it up simply, “That’s insane!”

Surprisingly, Abe isn’t the oldest clam, not a long shot. Min, Marine Quahog dredged off Iceland in 2006was calculated to be about 507 years old at the time of discovery.