The planet is blessed with countless beaches, and that’s a good thing because travelers love them. Dr. Beach (Stephen P. Leatherman, Ph.D.) from the Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research says 85 percent of traveling Americans choose a beach for their vacation destination. Each has its own characteristics of course, and some of them are, well, downright strange. From psychedelic sands to astonishing rock formations, check out these beach oddities from around the world.
Pink Sands Beach
One of the most beautiful in the Caribbean, Pink Sands Beach is on tiny Harbour Island in the Bahamas. When the island’s white sands mix with the crushed red shells of a single-celled marine creature called foraminifera, the result is three miles of beach with a soft rosy hue.
Bay of Fires
This beach with stunning natural beauty is in the remote Australian state of Tasmania. Bay of Fires stretches for 30 miles along the east coast. Curious bright orange granite boulders line the beach with a backdrop of blue sea and sky. The color comes from lichens that grow on the rocks.
Giant sand dunes give the illusion of being in the middle of a stark desert, but the Atlantic Ocean is a short walk away from Natal, Brazil’s Genipabu Beach. Beach sports here are as odd as the beach. Roller coaster-like rides in a buggy, sandboarding, and camel-riding are popular.
California’s Big Sur is well-known for its rugged cliffs, lush forests, and grassy meadows create dramatic scenery. Pfeiffer Beach is a sort of local secret. The beach is a half-mile stretch of purple sand that gets its color from the manganese garnet shards of rocks on nearby cliffs. Out-of-towners cand find Pfeiffer Beach by heading south on Highway 1 and turning right a quarter of a mile south of Big Sur Station.
This island in the Indian Ocean’s romantic Maldives has one of the world’s most dazzling natural sights. Mudhdhoo Island’s beach is illuminated at night as the high surf agitates bioluminescent phytoplankton.
Instead of sand, this Fort Bragg, California beach is loaded with a thick covering of shiny gems called sea glass. Find this unforgettable beach in MacKerricher State Park. The area was once a dumping ground and the pretty glass pebbles were created by the wearing away of old broken bottles.