Guess How Long It Took This Man to Cover His House With Shells (Photos)

    The finished product is now an exhibition center for local culture. (Image: Chengdu News)A close-up showing different types of shells on the walls and even the roof. (Image: Yongsheng admires the results of all his hard work. (Image: shell house cum museum. (Image: Chengdu News)Xiao put a lot of care and consideration into how to decorate the building. (Image: Chengdu News)

    More than 1 million shells of 500 different types were needed to transform this building in Shandong Province.

    Xiao Yongsheng, 58, lives on Lingshan Island off the coast of Qingdao, and wanted to renovate his traditional home. However, the quotes he got from architects and builders were much too expensive.

    One day, while walking on the beach, he got the idea to use shells, which would be both beautiful and cheap.

    He told “I’d always liked shells but it never struck me to use them until I was walking on a beach one morning and came across a very unusually colored clam shell and then it hit me.

    I realized I was sitting next to a huge, free supply of beautiful building material—so why not use it?”

    “I used them for everything,” he added. “For decoration, for roof tiles, as handles, and even crushed up to make mosaics. They are everywhere.”

    For the next two years, he collected shells from the island, and also overseas to decorate the outer walls, and the roof as well. The largest shell he used weighs about 9 pounds, and the smallest is about 0.12 inches long. The shells cover almost 16,150 square feet in total.

    The unusual building is now a museum with more than 1,000 items on display to represent the local culture, explaining the island’s history, and the lifestyle of the fishermen there.

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