Clams and oysters are as common as can be, but what they might have inside is as rare and valuable as you can get. That’s why this story is particularly awesome: This woman had no idea what she was about to find when she opened up this clam.

It seems like she’s just going through the motions, opening up a clam with a knife with a skill that she appears to have mastered. But what happens next is totally shocking: Can you imagine being the person to discover something like this?

Opening up a clam can be pretty hard work.

It’s basically like hacking into a stone with a machete — you need the right skills to do it.

Opening up a clam can be pretty hard work.

And it’s not just so they can have a snack, although clams are definitely delicious.

But people learn those skills, for one specific reason.

A single pearl can fetch anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, especially if it’s the right kind of pearl.

No, when it comes to clam shucking, it's all about finding the pearls.

They form when a clam or oyster gets a microscopic object stuck in its flesh. To combat this, the mollusk’s body secretes concentric layers of calcium carbonate. That’s what forms the pearl.

Freshwater pearls are actually the most valuable.

And for this woman, reward might be an understatement.

Basically, nature's way of reducing a mollusk's discomfort turns into a pearly reward.

As you can see, she found a pearl.

When she finally popped that clam open, she was greeted with a surprise.

Fishing around in the clam’s innards led to the discovery of more pearls than she even bargained for.

In fact, she found MANY pearls.

A spherical nacreous pearl from a clam or a freshwater mussel could be worth quite a bit of money — otherwise, they’re less valuable but still pretty cool.

Many of them aren't perfectly round, or even white.

As she digs through the clam’s flesh, she reveals pearl after pearl. We’re not sure if any of them are valuable, but the process is exciting to see.

In the end, this is how many pearls she was able to retrieve.