A Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Wonder [Slide Show]

Gary Greenberg photographs the world, one grain of sand at a time, in A Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Wonder
1 of 7

Lahaina Maui:

Sand grains from Maui, Hawaii. These were the first grains of sand that I examined through the microscope. I was amazed by the array of spectacular bits and pieces. The "Y" shaped glassy structure at the top is a sponge spicule, which functions as the internal skeleton of most sponges.....[ More ]


The bright purple tip of a sea urchin spine has become a grain of sand in this sample from Fanore, Ireland. It is surrounded by shell fragments. (magnification 200X)....[ More ]

Six Sand Grains:

The tip of a spiral shell has broken off and become a grain of sand. This spiral sand grain has become opalescent in character after being repeatedly tumbled by the action of the surf. It is surrounded by five other sand grains made of (from noon clockwise): 1) a pink shell fragment; 2) a foram; 3) a microscopic shell; 4) a volcanic melt; and 5) a bit of coral.....[ More ]


The glacially deposited sands around Lake Winnibigoshish, Minnesota contain abundant sediments from the igneous and metamorphic minerals of the Lake Superior basin. This sample includes pink garnets, green epidote, iron-rich red agates, black magnetite and hematite.....[ More ]


Sand from Skeleton Coast in Namibia, Africa, contains well-rounded black magnetite, garnet and possibly a tiny diamond near the middle left of the frame. (magnification 250X)....[ More ]

Star Sand:

This star-shaped grain of sand is from a beach on Taketomi Island in Okinawa, Japan. The sand contains the remains of microscopic shells known as forams. (magnification 50X)....[ More ]

Maui Sand:

This is a montage of Maui sand grains floating above a beach. The image is made up of 27 different photographs put together in Photoshop. (magnification 40X)....[ More ]

risk free title graphic

YES! Send me a free issue of Scientific American with no obligation to continue the subscription. If I like it, I will be billed for the one-year subscription.

cover image Subscribe Now
Share this Article:

Starting Thanksgiving

Enter code: HOLIDAY 2015
at checkout

Get 20% off now! >


Email this Article