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?
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.
Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada
(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!
Reynisfjara Beach, Vik, Iceland
Volcanoes create black lava rock and volcanic ash, which makes for really cool black sand beaches around the world, including this one in Iceland!
Papakolea Beach, Hawaii, USA
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.
Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada
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, Komodo Island, Indonesia
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.
Mahe Beach, Seychelles
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!