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It sounds like a schlocky 1950s horror flick: a war across the Asia-Pacific triggered by a horde of giant clams. Unfortunately, this is not “Roger Corman Presents.” It’s the worst possible outcome of an actual crisis playing out in the South China Sea.

The giant clams in question aren’t out to conquer the world; in fact, many of them are long dead. Rather, the problem stems from their shells, which can be worth a fortune in China, where they are used to make jewelry and statues.

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