What Is the Sanibel Stoop and Why is Everybody Doing It?

DATE: July 18, 2016

The Sanibel Stoop may not have been in nature’s original playbook – what with the lumbar stretching, the shoulder swinging and the unearthly growling. While Sanibel Island’s prerequisite posture for shell gathering may seemingly be more suitable for the gorillas in our midsts, it remains mandatory for visiting humans to Sundial Beach Resort & Spa in search of beauty and sparkle strewn from the vast waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The miles of shoreline along Florida’s Southwest coast are conducive – even necessary – for the laying on of shells, in massive, majestic overlays of these seafaring expressions of ecological art.

This barrier island provides a treasure trove of more than 400 different types of shells for collectors with an abundance of scallop, clam and tulip, according to USA Today.

While shell experts may specialize in instructing novices on the best and most effective collecting and gathering techniques, we’re going to explore the anatomical and musculoskeletal position for this happy activity: It’s the renowned Sanibel Stoop.

While other postures and positions of the human form are primarily designed to reap a benefit directly related to health, wholeness or physique building, the Sanibel Stoop takes aims purely at the aesthetic, esoteric and artsy side of our being.

That means you’ll uncover some really nifty stuff that probably won’t improve your aerobic capacity or develop broader shoulders, but will instill a sense of childlike amazement and wonder at the artistry Earth’s great oceans produce.

ABC’s “Good Morning America” weather anchor Ginger Zee even made a valiant and successful attempt of the Sanibel Stoop during her recent visit to the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa.

Two people stooping over to grab a seashell.

Thousands and Thousands of Shells Cover Beaches

Conchologists (shell experts) estimate shell seekers can expect to discover 50,000 to 200,000 different shell species, which is a long time doing the Sanibel Stoop. The world’s largest shell is the Australian Trumpet at more than 30 inches. The Horse Conch, an American marine snail, is about two feet in size. The American Museum of Natural History has on display the largest shell in recorded history, the Giant Clam of the Southwest Pacific, measuring in at 55 inches, according to Conchologists of America.

Back to the Sanibel Stoop. The Washington Times describes the Sanibel Stoop as “the bent-at-the-waist posture used to collect seashells on Sanibel Island.” Of course.

The Sanibel & Captiva Island Visitor’s Center provides a more elaborate description: “People come from all over the world, drawn by the song of the seashell. They parade along the sands doubled over in a stance that’s been dubbed the Sanibel Stoop.”

SanibelIsland.com doesn’t have too much to add to in describing this simple posture: “You will find young and old with buckets, bags and nets shuffling along, stooping over, this stance has come to be known as ‘The Sanibel Stoop.’”

There it is, fellow shell lovers. So start stretching those lumbars. Start building those Latissimus dorsis. And book your stay at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa today!

About Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

Sundial Beach Resort & Spa is on Sanibel Island, the barrier island on the Southwest Gulf Coast. Guests can choose spacious fully equipped condominiums with kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms. The resort’s four restaurants provide diners with panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Amenities include six HydroGrid® tennis courts, multiple heated swimming pools, children’s activities, a state-of-the-art fitness center, Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa & Boutique, Sanibel Sea School at Sundial, Bailey’s Marketplace and a nearby world-class golf course.

Book your stay now and prepare to be pampered at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa. To book your exclusive accommodations, you can make reservations online or call one of our expert vacation planners at (866) 565-5093. We look forward to your stay with us.

Share Post