Most people love the beach; the weather’s always good, the waves are relaxing, the view is almost always picturesque, and it’s a great way to enjoy nature for a while. Beaches are truly interesting environments, packed with an enormous amount of biodiversity, and play an important role in the overall health of the world’s ecosystems.
On top of that, beaches generate income for many people throughout the globe, including in the fishing and tourism sectors. It goes without saying that the world would almost certainly be a worse place without the beautiful coastlines we enjoy so much.
Fraser Island Is a small island that can be found in the Queensland province of Australia, not too far from the city of Brisbane. It holds the record for being the largest sand island in the world, and was primarily formed by volcanic activity – basically, the entire island is technically a beach on its own. It’s a popular tourist destination and is well-known for its clear waters, its sands, and a famous shipwreck.
The Origin Of Sand
Sand is an integral part of the beach experience, but how often do beachgoers stop and take a real look at the sand that they’re standing on? There are many different types of sand found across the world, and each is made in a unique way.
Most of the sand in the world is an incredible aggregate of chemically weathered rock, shell, and other materials that, over thousands of years, have become smaller and smaller and end up on the beach or other areas near to water. Sand at the beach is similarly composed of small, weathered material, but it’s also made up of the excrement of certain animals, particularly parrotfish.
Sand And Silicon
Most people are probably aware that the microchips that we use in our electronic devices are reliant on silicon, which is itself derived from sand.
Without these microchips, our phones wouldn’t be able to function as little more than alarm clocks, meaning we’d have no access to the latest news, our email, our favourite games – from Clash of Clans to online slots Australia, and the other hundreds of things we use our phones for. One common misconception is that beach sand is used for extracting the silicon necessary to make the sand – in fact, sand at the beach doesn’t contain the right ratio of quartz to be pure enough to make high-grade silicon for chip manufacturing.
The Importance Of Sand Dunes
Any beach that has been largely untouched by humans will often have extremely high sand dunes. Sand dunes are a vital part of the beach’s local ecosystem, growing taller and taller as plants take hold and anchor the sand in place, as long as it’s left undisturbed. Sand also works as a way for the beach to be nourished, where storms crash against the dunes and all manner of organic detritus is left on the beach for the myriad of shorelife to consume.