As one of the most abundantly appearing natural compounds on Earth, sand has played an important role in man’s evolution through the ages. Though the average grain of sand is not much larger than the width of a human hair, it is available in copious quantities in almost all parts of the world, making it a nearly limitless natural resource. As a result, sand is now used for a multitude of purposes that range from fracking and construction to glass manufacturing and development of equestrian fields. For more such interesting facts about sand, check out the below infographic from the Mainland Aggregates Ltd!

so-much-sand-so-many-uses-logo Read the rest of this entry »

I recently received some impressive photos of cross-sections through a grain of star sand. With the author’s permission I’d like to share these photos with you since, to my knowledge, these are the first images of this kind circulating among sand collectors. The photos represent 5x, 10x and 20x magnification, respectively. Copyright: Robert Ranner | Leica Mikrosysteme GmbH.

star sand_DF_5x
Magnification 5x

star sand _pol_10x
Magnification 10x

star sand_DF_20x
Magnification 20x

One of my last samples comes from Isle of Wight, more exactly from the beach at Brookgreen (approx. location: 50°39’04″N 1°27’31″W). The sand has lots of foraminifera, maybe one day I’ll try to separate them on classes but right now I just wanted to share this photo with you (check the Photo Photomicrography section for more sand photos uploaded today).

2741 GB-IW United Kingdom – Isle of Wight – Beach at Brookgreen

Yesterday I received a really nice email and, with the author’s consent, I decided to publish it on the website because this is maybe the most beautiful part of sand collecting: the people…

“Hello, I’ve arrived to your website accidentaly, but I’m really excited after dive into all the beautiful information you present in. I’m a sailor, and I use to sail all around the world since several years ago, for the yacht industry. Now, I’m in the north of  Unites States in another long trip in the way back to home, Spain. I have a sister biologist that collects shells from everywhere and because my plural visit to different places, I’m one of her providers. But knowing the existence of people that collect sand, and finding it a beauty activity, I proposed to her start this new collection, and since then, I’m her main provider. But looking at how you work with this world, I’m seriously decided to start my own collection as well. It’s a shame, I’ve been travelling last years from Antartica to all the archipelagos of south Pacific, north atlantic or my trips to the Himalaya mountains, or Patagonia in my free time and I could have had good samples of sand from this areas. So you gave me reasons to start with a new hobby driven by your gentle advices and information. This email is to send you my gratitude for your effort to communicate  your passion. Many thanks, E.M.”

The song of the dunes