Sandy Shapes on the Shores

During the recent summer holiday we were joined by Jane and spent enjoyable times at the beach.

I love the constantly changing patterns in the sand so I thought I would share some images and some ‘sandastic’ facts about sand.

You already know that sand sticks to skin!....But why... because sand holds on to water, which in turn holds onto the moisture in your skin (or on your towel, beach bucket, and hair). If it really drives you crazy, use the old baby powder trick... it will help remove sand from sticky, sandy skin.

Sand is a non-renewable resource over human timescales, and sand suitable for making concrete is in high demand. Desert sand, although plentiful, is not suitable for concrete. 50 billion tons of beach sand and fossil sand is used each year for construction.

Scientists estimate the number of grains of sand by measuring the average size of a sand grains, then calculating how many sand grains it would take to fill, say, a gallon jug. Using the latest geological studies, they calculate the total volume of sand on Earth. Scientists estimate that Earth contains 7.5 sextillion sand grains. That is 75 followed by 17 zeros. That’s a lot of sand.

There are more stars in the universe than all the grains of sand in all the beaches, desserts and sandboxes on Earth.

Our universe contains at least 70 septillion stars, 7 followed by 23 zeros.

Why different colours? It all depends on what sorts of minerals make up the sand. Hard quartz (silica) which has the colour of – well – sand is usually light tan (but if you look really closely you may see flecks of white, black, brown and pink). Tropical beaches (like Hawaii) are more white because they are made up of calcium carbonate (which is just the broken down skeletons of coral and other marine life). The "black" sands of Santorini, Greece, are black due to the red and black volcanic lava rocks that make up their beaches.

Below we leave you with a very short video, highlighting not only humans love time at the beach, Nicky will provide the final word on sand.

Text thanks to;;
Photos are my own
Nicky agreed to star in the video