World Record Largest Dendraster Excentricus (Western Sand Dollar) Found August 15th, 2013 at Eld Inlet in Olympia, Washington Donated to the California Academy of Sciences 106.1 mm long (4.2 inches), and 116.1 mm wide (4.6 inches) The world record sand dollar is another species with a smaller internal volume; not as "large"
Eric Talaska has always enjoyed beach-combing since 2004 with his dog Tippy. He has found many Native American Indian artifacts such as arrowheads and pottery in Arkansas along lake beaches. He tried to initiate a public display for the artifacts to preserve them, but the Army Corps of Engineers turned down the idea and then permanently destroyed the archaeological site with heavy equipment to prevent cliff erosion.
Eric often had dreams of finding something either valuable or a world record. He has done just that. When Eric and Tippy were strolling along the Eld Inlet in Olympia at a typical tide on a much windier than normal summer day, he was very surprised to see a lone mega sand dollar in an unlikely location fully intact on a rough, rocky beach where many people step. Out of about 50 beach walks there, he had found only two other sand dollars on that same beach, but they were the smallest ones he had ever seen and so fragile they just fell apart. The beach where the sand dollar was found is preserved by and accessible to the public courtesy of The Evergreen State College.
The same week he found the mega sand dollar, he turned in his college assignment which is an interactive Flash animation to promote sustainable, ocean friendly fishing. As an eco activist, Eric believes it's possible that the ocean "wanted" him to find this sand dollar as he is the most likely candidate to promote environmentalism and especially sustainable fishing practices to prevent over-fishing and thus the extinction of certain species.