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What is a PUKA shell? 

 The word "puka" means hole in Hawaiian.  The puka shell comes from a cone shell that at first has a mollusk inside of it.  Eventually, the mollusk will either be eaten or die of natural causes.  When this happens, the cone shell is  tossed around by the strong ocean waves of Hawai'i.  After years of pounding, the cone will eventually break apart, and the top of the cone will be the only part left  The top of the cone is where the snail sleeps or hibernates, and therefore is the strongest part of the cone.  However, because of the way the mollusk (shell) grows (in a circular manner), the midpoint on the top of the cone is slightly more vulnerable.  The center of the top of the cone will wear away before the rest of the top of the cone, thereby creating a hole in the center, which creates what we know as a  puka shell.  Check out a before and after picture:

Before:  After: