Whether it’s white, black, pink, red, or even green, the color of sand provides clues as to its makeup and offers a peek into the beach’s history. The color of sand can tell stories of past human activity and can even reveal what kind of sea creatures call that beach home.

Sand’s color is derived from its mineralogy, or the physical structure of the crystals that populate the sand. These minerals can come from erosion of nearby landscape, volcanic eruptions, and even the grounding up of sea shells over decades, so the color and content of sand reflect the makeup of the surrounding landscape and even the beach’s inhabitants.

So how do sand beaches around the world get their colors? Let’s take a look at how some of the world’s most colorful beaches came to be.


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