Coco de mer

Guess what? Mr M. and I found a Coco de Mer in Oxford!

No, not the kinky shop, although we know about those too, but the real legendary coconut!

Now, if you've never heard about a coco de mer before you might just think I'm a bit odd and a bit too excited about some kind of coconut.

I first heard about them when I studied in Swaziland. A coco de mer is a rare coconut that only growns in two of the Seychelles islands. The story goes that when those were not inhabited, the coconuts would fall off the trees and then some of them would be dragged into the sea naturally. Of those, some would reach mainland Africa.

So imagine what would you think of these weird, rather big objects that the sea would magically deliver to your coast randomly? Of course they were considered "gifts, practically. They became a very, very valued form of misterious currency. And their obvious shape was also highly regarded. (hence the name of the kinky shops, see?) When Europeans started going to Africa, they became fascinated by them as well, and it became a very sought after Victorian souvenir.

So you get the idea of their rarity and value. They still fetch high prices in art auctions and ebay nowadays (yesterday we found a seller that had some for just about less than 500 dollars). And we just got one of 5 pounds (10 dollars). The lady was very nice and she asked us what was it after she sold it to us. I explained her the whole story and she said "Oh, I thought that was a coconut, but no-one believed me". I explained the real value of them to her, much to Mr. M's despite (he thought it was just rude to pay 5 pounds and tell her they were acutally much more than that). Our coco de mer is not as round an even as the best ones out there, but it is very tactile, very smooth and shiny, and looks like an sculpture. Am I gonna like Oxford...

What did you think? 

5 Responses

  1. Ooh, La are Fancy aren't you.
    Any way, you have a nice accent there for awhile at least. I am trying, still. Thanks for calling again.

    ...Si...still in Espaniol. "Queso"!

  2. P.S. Please add the "follow this blog" button and place towards the top. I have found it helpful, and seems to be the etsy thing to do. You'll see how special you are visually.

  3. So, Three's a charm...
    I do love the "Coco de mer" story. I wish I could get my hands on one, even for a moment. The best I was able to do, was smuggle home an old coconut, I found on my honeymoon in Bora Bora. I do cherish it.

  4. gravatar kim* says:


  5. gravatar Kate says:

    I had heard of these on a tv show recently. Interesting.

    My husband and I spent two weeks in Oxford back in the early 1990's. I loved it there. It's a beautiful city, and so easy to get to other places from there. The Cotswolds are not far, nor is Warwick Castle. We had a picnic lunch at the castle and the resident peacocks stole it!


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Madrid, Spain
Trained as a Product designer and in Fine Arts (a bit). Now a MA student of Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture. Passionate about culture, trends, rituals and people (and vegan food). Proud owner of Nosideup Etsy store. See more at


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