A fisherman from the Philippines discovered what might be the largest natural pearl ever - and he had been hiding it under his bed for more than 10 years.
The pearl is nearly one foot wide and 27 inches long, and it weighs a whopping 75 pounds, The Guardian reports. For reference, that means this pearl is just a bit smaller than a standard bed pillow and weighs as much as an average 11-year-old boy.
So how did this fisherman happen upon this massive pearl? According to local news source Palawan News, he actually found it more than 10 years ago while out on a fishing trip in the waters surrounding Palawan Island. His boat's anchor snagged on the giant clam, and he had to swim down to free it - and that's when he discovered the giant pearl.
Unaware of the pearl's potential value, the man kept it under his bed for more than a decade. Believing it to be a good luck charm, he would touch it every time he prepared to leave for a fishing trip. It wasn't until he recently began preparing to move to a different part of the province that he entrusted the pearl to his aunt, tourism officer Aileen Cynthia Maggay-Amurao, who immediately recognized the pearl's significance.
With her nephew's permission, Maggay-Amurao presented the giant pearl to the mayor of Puerto Princesa, Lucilo R. Bayon. Now, it's on display in the atrium of the local New Green City Hall while Maggay-Amurao awaits an expert who can verify its authenticity.
If it is, indeed, confirmed to be a real natural pearl that formed within a giant clam, this 75-pound find would be significantly larger than the current "world's largest pearl" record-holder, which was discovered in 1939 and weighs a mere 14 pounds. It would also be worth some major money: more than $100 million, The Guardian reports.
Maggay-Amurao's Facebook post about the discovery calls for locals and Filipinos everywhere to raise awareness about what might be the new world's largest pearl - and her efforts to have the giant pearl verified. Her post has been shared more than 3,000 times.
[h/t The Guardian]
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