The Earth is an amazing place filled with an abundance of diverse beauty that can be seen in everything from the clouds in the sky to the mysterious creatures of the deep. Holidaymakers might be surprised to learn that even some of the beaches of the world go beyond the ordinary with surprising colour palettes and hidden wonders.
Not All Sand is Golden
One of the best-known oddities of the beach world is black volcanic sand. The sand is formed by flowing lava that explodes and cools when it reaches the ocean. One of the most famous black sand beaches is Punalu’u Beach on the main island of Hawaii. Iceland is home to two famous ones as well: Jokulsarlon Beach, where you can walk the black sand and stare out the landscape of ice boulders, and Reynisdrangar, with its towers of basalt deposits reaching out from the shoreline.
Beaches come in various other shades of strange. Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay in Maui gets its hue from the high iron content of the constantly eroding cinderhill around the beach. It is an isolated beach accessible by a short, if treacherous, hike. Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, California, gets its purple sand from from manganese garnet particles that are rinsed off of the surrounding hills. Papakolea Beach, also found on the main island of Hawaii, has green sand from olivine particles in its surrounding hills.
For amazing purity, Australia’s Hyams Beach in New South Wales officially has the whitest sand in the world according to the Guinness Book. Perhaps even more breathtaking is the six miles of white silica sand on Whitehaven Beach on Australia’s Whitsunday Island. The sand is so fine that it resembles talcum powder.
Not Your Average Beach
Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California, was once a dumping site for local residents’ garbage and old appliances. The area became so filthy that the beaches were closed, and decades of ocean waves pounding the broken glass eventually covered the beach in smooth glass pebbles that are now beloved by tourists.
Hot Water Beach in New Zealand gets its name from the underground hot water springs it sits on top of. Visitors dig holes to create fresh, hot bathing tubs for themselves to sit in and relax.
Maghera Beach in County Donegal, Ireland, is a wide expanse of white sand lined with thirteen sea erosion caves that can be explored during low tide.
75 Mile Beach on Australia’s Fraser Island is more than just a beach, it is also a motorway and landing strip. Keep your eyes peeled for planes and automobiles.
If the great outdoors aren’t your cup of tea, head to Japan’s indoor beach Ocean Dome, complete with permanently blue skies, ambient temperatures, and perfect waves.