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Pearl Farming

Noel decided to try out pearl farming a month ago when he randomly stumbled across a dedicated subreddit.

He had heard about pearl farming before, of course - it was a hot topic on social media, and it seemed like everybody knew someone who had tried it. Former pearl farmers in public campaigns advised against it: The money doesn't matter, kid. It's not worth it. Get a proper job instead. Don't get involved in this shit.

But online pearl farming communities told a different story. A single pearl could easily sell for as much as $800, provided it was at least half an inch in diameter. With the right approach, one could grow up to six of them in one go. Over one million subscribers enthusiastically exchanged hints and information about trusted buyers. Noel needed some money, and the promise of an easy profit was just too hard to resist.

The instructions were easy enough to follow. Purchase conchiolin powder and nacre syrup, still legally sold in most states under innocuous brand names. Use a mixture of both with every meal for about 30 days. Avoid fish oil and large quantities of water. And most importantly: never, under any circumstances, tell your family or colleagues what you're doing.

A month ago, coming back home with the ingredients in his pocket, counting the profits in his head and contacting prospective buyers ahead of the time, Noel had been absolutely confident pearl farming was going to pay off. He even briefly considered dropping out of school and doing pearl farming for a living.

But now, a month later, shaking and screaming out incomprehensible syllables through his tears, Noel realized all those people advising against pearl farming were right. He used to think he could imagine the associated pain ahead of the time. But he couldn't. Nothing in the world could have possibly prepared him for the excruciating agony he had to suffer through for three days straight as he was passing a half-an-inch-diameter pearl grown inside his own kidney, knowing full well it's just the first one out of six.

by reddit user OnceInAYellowMoon via


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