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The most colourful beaches from around the world!

 

(ximagination/123RF)


Ugh, tan beaches are so last year! Why go to an average-coloured beach when beaches come in all the colours of the rainbow, and then some?


What exactly is a beach?

piles of ground up rock and silica

Ground up rocks and silica, the most common element on earth, are some of the things that make up sand. (Image by PDPics from Pixabay)

Beaches are made of sand. Sand is really just great big rocks that have been ground down into teeny tiny bits of itty bitty rock or sand gravel.

This process is called erosion (say "ee-roh-zhun"). Erosion is what happens when water pounds against rocks — either waves, or rain, or freezing or thawing — you get the idea.

Other things (not just rocks) get ground into the mix to make sand. Stuff like minerals, plants or dead sea animals. All of these things change the colour of the sand, and make for some pretty cool beaches, like the ones below.


Purple Beach

Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada

a close up of the purple sand on the beach

(Photo from SaskHiker)

Saskatchewan has some of the world’s prettiest purple-coloured beaches! The beaches are purple because they have a lot of ground up garnet (a precious stone) in them. Fun fact — garnet is the birthstone for January, and it comes in all sorts of different colours, not just purple!


Black Beach

Reynisfjara Beach, Vik, Iceland

a beach with dark black sand and ice

(Photo credit: FerTravelPhoto on Visual hunt / CC BY)

Volcanoes create black lava rock and volcanic ash, which makes for really cool black sand beaches around the world, including this one in Iceland! 


Green Beach

Papakolea Beach, Hawaii, USA

very green sand on the beach

(Gerold Grotelueschen/123RF)

Speaking of volcanoes, this amazing green beach in Hawaii is one of only four green sand beaches in the entire world! It’s green because of a mineral called olivine, which is found in the lava.


Red Beach

Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada

layered rocks and sand of red Cavendish beach

(Photo credit: Roman Boldyrev on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA)

Prince Edward Island is known for its beautiful red sand caused by the mineral iron. Did you know that there are over 800 kilometres of beaches in P.E.I.? That’s pretty amazing for Canada’s smallest province!


Pink Beach

Pink Beach, Komodo Island, Indonesia

a shot from above of a woman lying on a pink sand beach

(@lilianyf/Instagram)

The lovely pink colour in this beach is caused by tiny microorganisms called foraminifera (say "for-ann-meh-neh-feh-ra"). They colour the nearby coral, and then become part of the sand.  But visitors to this island have to be very careful! Komodo Island is known for Komodo dragons. They're very dangerous and must be avoided.


White Beach

Mahe Beach, Seychelles

a tropical beach with white sand

(Photo credit: MeckiMac on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA)

Many white beaches get their colour from ground up quartz rock and … parrotfish poop! Yup, parrotfish eat algae, which grows on coral. When they eat it, they grind up the coral, digest the algae and poop out white sand!