PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The largest shell show in the northeast is being held this weekend at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

The annual Philadelphia Shell Show at the Academy is the second largest in the country; thousands of collectors and exhibitors will have their treasures on display and for sale this weekend.

Paul Callomon is chair of the show and head of the Academy’s malacology collection. He says if you have to ask why people collect shells, you won’t understand the answers:

“It’s a fascination, it’s a preoccupation, it becomes a kind of madness with some people.”

Michael Gauge of Marlton, New Jersey is displaying his 2,000 shell collection:

“I was born in Hawaii. I lived there three years and I thought it would be neat to have all of the shells of Hawaii. There are certain shells that are only found in Hawaii. I had this book as a 10-year-old, of which there’s a picture from. And for 35 years, I’ve been trying to get every shell in that picture.”

Reported By Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio

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