The Strangest Looking Shellfish In The Entire Ocean Has Enormous Popularity


This weird creature is considered a delicacy all over the world, but it has yet to catch on in its native region of North America. If I had to guess, I’d say people are a little put off by its, shall we say, outlandish appearance.

The Geoduck is one of the strangest looking shellfish in the entire ocean.

Their name comes from a Native American phrase meaning “dig deep.”

Geoducks can reach 14 pounds and live more than 160 years—so long that scientists use rings on the clams’ shells to track climate change.


The clams begin to burrow into the substrate within 40 to 50 days of birth, and they can bury to a depth of 60 cm in two years. Few predators can reach them once they are successful in achieving this depth. They use their large and, ahem, imposing siphon to burrow deep into the sand at the bottom of the ocean when they sense the presence of an encroaching predator. A geoduck grows rapidly for the first 10 to 15 years. By that time, it has grown so large that its shell cannot close around it.


The average adult geoduck that you’ll likely to meet will be the same age as you – 25 to 50 years old, but it hardly has the same experiences as you are, being buried all its life in one spot.

The body of an adult geoduck remains in one spot for its entire life. Sea stars would nibble at them, but once they bury themselves almost a meter deep, no predators can get at them – so they end up living REALLY long.

Treat them with respect. They’ll outlive any of you – they get up to 160 years old . It’s the second longest-living organism on Earth (after giant tortoises, which can live almost 200 years). As they grow, they accumulate rings on their shell, much like a tree does.


They produce sweet and tasty meat and are a popular delicacy all over the world, particularly in China and Japan.

“Their large, meaty siphon are prized by some for its savory flavor and crunchy texture.” It is a delicacy in Asia, each costing $200 – $300, so if you ever considered opening a private geoduck farm… be also ready to deal with their reputation to increase the “male potential”

They reproduce without coming into direct contact with other geoducks. The male expels a cloud of semen from his siphon as the female expels a cloud of eggs from hers.

This results in thousands of fertilized eggs hidden away in the sand.


The average female produces up to 5 billion eggs in her lifetime. Here is a picture of a bunch of geoduck-like mollusks clinging to a log of wood


Their siphon helps them move and get oxygen. They can also quickly retract it if burrowing under the sand isn’t an option. The average geoduck siphon is three feet long, but they can grow at big as six…

It isn’t just gourmands who are obsessed with this salt water-dwelling clam.

Scientists study the rings in the geoduck’s shell. The thickness of their annual rings can tell us a lot about the conditions in the ocean during a given year.


Forty years ago this mollusk was virtually unknown outside the Northwest. Today Puget Sound fishermen sell four million pounds of it each year, or about two million clams’ worth. Swanky New York bistros serve geoduck with rice wine vinegar. Japanese chefs slice it for sushi and sashimi. Most of the harvest goes to China, where cooks in Shanghai and Beijing simmer the clams in hot pots. A single geoduck can fetch $60 in a Hong Kong fish market.