Summer of Adventure - Beach Facts
Even though sand has a way of finding its way into our sandwiches, who doesn't love a day at the beach? Here's 10 awesome facts about that land and sea collaboration!
1. What is sand made of exactly?
Nature's elements help create sand by eroding rocks over millions of years, which creates the fine grains we all enjoy between our toes and can find in our bags and shoes for weeks afterwards. It's mostly made out of mineral quartz and what we can only describe as 'bits'.
2. What's a wild beach?
Despite its name, it's not rebellious or feral like an animal. It just means that it's a beach that has remained unspoiled by humans.
3. What's that wiggly spaghetti found on wet sand called?
Those are called 'casts' and they're created by sand worms – Arenicola marina – who bury into the sand by eating it and allowing it to come out of the other end. That's right, it's sand poo.
4. The beach is home to a lot of wildlife and vegetation!
British beaches can host more than 1200 kinds of animals and plants, including around 50 types of seagulls and five kinds of dolphin!
5. Here's a gross fact about white sand!
Hawaii is famous for its beautiful beaches and stunning, clear waters. But their white sand isn't as lovely as it looks, because 70 per cent of its colour is down to parrotfish, who nibble on reefs to get at a particular form of delicious algae. When they go to the toilet in the sea, much of it is ground up coral. Something to think about when you're lying on a towel soaking up the sun's rays.
6. Where's the world's longest beach, then?
The longest beach in the world is Praia do Cassino in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. It measures around 132 miles long, which is perfect for a gigantic stroll.
7. How close are UK residents to an actual beach?
Not that far, in the big scheme of things. No-one in the UK lives more than 80 miles from a beach – less than two hours – which is pretty awesome if you think about it.
8. Sand dunes aren't just patchy hills!
Sure, they might be a nice spot to have a picnic when the beach is a bit crowded, but they actually serve an important purpose for our beaches. They can help protect the coastline from eroding and can help reduce the risk of flooding, too.
9. What's the most popular beach in the UK, then?
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is the most popular beach in the UK and the Lancashire town receives about five million visitors each year on average.
10. You can't have a list of beach facts without mentioning ice cream!
For some people, no trip to a beach is complete without a '99'. The name comes from its inventor Stefano Arcari, who in 1922, ran an ice cream shop at 99 Portobello High Street in Edinburgh. It was Mr. Arcari who had the idea of placing a Flake chocolate bar into the frozen treat. What we're trying to say is that it's important to keep cool during a sunny day at the beach.