5 Of The World's Strangest Beaches

by / Sep 29, 2017

Beaches are some of the most popular places to go to for vacation. And, why wouldn't they be? They're beautiful, relaxing and a great place to people watch (if you're into that). They can also be a lot of fun if you like to surf, boogie board, play beach volleyball, fly kites and look for interesting sea critters and shells. But, some beaches are pretty bizarre. Below are 5:

1. The Irish Beach That Disappeared and Reappeared 30 Years Later

Near the small, Irish town of Dooagh on Achill Island, something very strange happened. The beach was there one day and gone the next, but then reappeared 33 years later! In 1984 a very strong storm actually washed all of the sand away from the shore, leaving rock where the beach used to be. This was a huge loss for the town. Not only was their beach a beautiful place, it attracted a lot of tourists. So, losing the sand hit the town's economy hard. Lucky for the town, high tides brought the sand back to the beach - over 30 years after it disappeared.

2. Siesta Key Beach, Florida

Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But, the Siesta Key Beach near Sarasota is consistently ranked as one of the U.S.'s most beautiful beaches. It's easy to see why. Most of the world's beaches are made from quartz and this beach is no exception. The difference between this beach and other quartz beaches is that the quartz at Siesta Beach has been ground up into a fine, powdery sand. Due to how fine the sand is, it doesn't heat up even during the hottest summer temperatures, making this beach a beautiful, comfortable place to enjoy the ocean.

3. Hot Water Beach in New Zealand

While most people go to the beach to enjoy the ocean, beach visitors at New Zealand's Hot Water Beach go for the natural hot spring water that bubbles toward the ocean during low tide. One of the favorite activities at this beach is to dig a hole large enough for a few people to sit in, waiting until it fills up with hot spring water, then take a nice soak. High tide washes all these hot water pools away, leaving the next batch of visitors a clean beachy canvas to build their own pools on.

4. The Glass Beach in California

There are several glass beaches around the world, but the Glass Beach at Fort Bragg, CA has a rather unusual beginning. Fort Bragg was left devastated after the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. But, before the residents could begin the re-building process, they had to get rid of all of the debris left over after so many buildings crumbled. First, they tried burning it. When that wasn't sufficient, they decided to dump the debris into the ocean believing that ocean currents would wash it all away pretty quickly. When that didn't happen, people just kept dumping trash there until it was made illegal to do so in the mid 1960s. Eventually, the debris did get washed away. The glass that remained was tumbled by the waves against the sand until it became smooth, shiny sea glass.

If you visit this beach today, keep in mind that it is now part of MacKerricher State Park, so removing any of the glass is illegal.

5. Henderson Island Beach, South Pacific

I'm going to leave you with the saddest beach story in the hopes that it will make an impact on what you do with your garbage. Henderson Island is a 14 square mile island that is located 3,000 miles away from any populated area. But, its unfortunate claim to fame is that it's beaches are the most polluted in the world. The island sits directly in the path of the South Pacific Gyre which is one of the largest currents in the Pacific Ocean. So, much of the ocean pollution that is carried by the Gyre winds up on the beaches of Henderson Island. Henderson Island is deserted, but because some people must think that throwing garbage into the ocean is ok, the island has over 38,000 pounds of plastic and over 3,500 pieces of trashy inhabitants. This otherwise beautiful island has a raised coral atoll - the only one in the world. How sad is it that, just because people don't know how to dispose of trash properly, this island is the most polluted in the world!

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