Japan Beaches That Have Star-Shaped Sand

There is a unique kind of sand on some Japanese islands’ beaches: Taketomi, Kaijihama, and Aiyaruhama. This star-shaped sand is very unique and just is produced in special conditions. In fact, only two places on Earth are known to produce the tiny star-shaped grains of sand that makeup Hoshizuna no Hama (Star Sand Beach).


This sand is very unique and just is produced in special conditions

The tiny star-shaped grains of sand are actually the pointy husks of millions of tiny Foraminifera, which are part of the same protist as amoeba. When Foraminifera die, the tide brings them ashore from coral reefs in the Western Pacific Ocean. The Foraminifera phylum includes some 10,000 species that create shells of various designs. Star-shaped shells, such as the kind created by the Baculogypsina sphaerulata species.

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