If you have ever been to Ibiza, you have probably spent one day at one of the most beautiful beaches of the island: Cala Comte.
Located on the west coast, 15 minutes approx. from Sant Antoni, Cala Comte (or Cala Conta) offers crystalline waters, golden sand, idyllic views of the little islets in front of the beach, and super chill restaurants and bars to enjoy a day or night of pure pleasure. If you want, you can read the full article about Cala Comte clicking on the link.
What you might don’t know is that its sand is quite special and hides a tiny secret. It is not only the thickest sand on the island, but one of the richest. Formed by hundreds of different stones of all shapes, textures, and colours, there are some flat and round little pieces with the shape of a perfect spiral in one side, and on the other side, which is a bit more rough, what looks like an ear…
The locals used to call them “Comte’s stones” and collected them at the beaches of Tramontana and Ponent, or in Es Racó d’In Xic, to use them as “tokens” in their games. The operculum, which is the proper name, received many nicknames, such as “Orejillas de mar”, “Shiva eye”, or “Mal de cap” through the history. With them, they used to make special necklaces to prevent headaches, because they believed that they had healing properties. However, these small treasures were already collected by the Romans in ancient times to create fine jewelry.
Present in many groups of marine gastropods and on some terrestrial, the operculum is a cover that serves to protect the opening of the shell when the animal retracts inside, creating an authentic “door” that prevents any invasion through the most vulnerable area.
Next time you are around, don’t forget to take a look at the sand and appreciate from a close angle the wonderful secrets of Ibiza’s nature. Getting that Fibonacci feeling?
Also published on Medium.