Unique, cool, and colorful beaches around the world!

By Sergio González | 11:01

Papakolea Green Beach in Hawaii

The answer to what a normal beach may look like widely depends on who you ask. It will surely be rocky if you ask an Englishman, but sandy and long if you ask the same question in Spain, and you should include palm trees hanging over the sea if you asked by somebody from the Caribbean. Anyhow, a green beach or one made of glass and not sand is strange for every single one of us.

Sand is the result of thousands of years of ceaseless erosion of rocks, that end up divided into tiny mineral parts so the composition of local stones and other materials is key to understand the weirdness you are about to see.

Most sand in the temperate zone of the planet is made of quartz, which is the reason why you get a golden glowing tan. But beaches in the tropical areas contain a high proportion of coral and shellfish from millions of years ago. The calcium in them gives you the white sandy beaches of Maldives or Jamaica.

Quartz and calcium are very common elements on the Earth’s surface but they are not the only ones. Many islands are volcanic, what means they were formed eruption after eruption, volcanoes bringing up the deepest rocks of our planet and their beaches among the most unique and most beautiful.

Take Papakolea Beach in Hawaii. It’s green! Like real green. This beach is formed by olivine, pretty common under the surface but which vivid green color fades when released into the atmosphere. Everywhere but here in Hawaii and Galapos Islands, the two only green beaches in the world.

Volcanoes are also guilty for creating black beaches, build up by tiny lava particles. This sand is far more common but if you want to see the most unique black sand beaches on the planet you have to hit Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Santorini in Greece and Vík Beach in Iceland -obviously the latter is just for sightseeing.

Some corals are white but some others are red and if you remember what happened in school when mixed up these two colors you can be enjoying a pink sand beach. As for every other sea life, color is in the Tropics so if you fancy deepening your toes into this candy cotton sand prepare yourself for quite an odyssey.

Bermudas and Bahamas are the best spots but most pink sand beaches are private and those public are remote. Like two-light-aircrafts and-an-air-taxi-away remote.

Pink sand beaches are in the Caribbean

Not only rocks and coral have a saying in dressing up Earth’s sand. Have you ever been to the beach in the late summer? You may have noticed some algae are red instead of green -Fall affects every single plant, underwater life included. This is why Panjin Beach in China becomes a crimson paradise every September.

Cool nerd data about the sand, perfect to blow your friend’s minds while tanning by a beautiful sandy beach: there are more stars in the Universe than sand grains in our planet. Anytime you go back home with some sand stuck to your skin you’re carrying thousands of galaxies on you!

What are some of your favourite beaches around the world? 

Photo credit: Harry Chen

Photo credit: Mike’s Birds

 

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