Using the image of sand grains to represent the vastness of the universe is a well-known technique. However, in certain beaches located in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture, the sand grains are actually resembling stars, making for an extraordinary sight.
Let’s take a leisurely walk along the picturesque Hoshizuna no Hama (or Star Sand Beach) situated on the beautiful Iriomote Island. As you stroll, feel the sand slip between your toes and relish the moment. Don’t forget to pay close attention to the sand beneath your feet because it’s not your average beach sand. It’s something unique and remarkable.
The minuscule sand particles that are shaped like stars are actually the remains of millions of tiny organisms called Foraminifera. These creatures belong to the same family as amoebas and their sharp, pointy shells make up the sand grains that cover this beach. When these Foraminifera die, they float ashore with the tide from coral reefs located in the Western Pacific Ocean. So, next time you visit Hoshizuna no Hama, remember to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the sand on this extraordinary beach.
A unique discovery has been made on Hatoma Island – star sand! This sand is created by a phylum called Foraminifera, which consists of 10,000 species that produce shells of different shapes. The Baculogypsina sphaerulata species is responsible for the creation of star-shaped shells, which are quite rare. They can only be found on a few islands located in Okinawa prefecture in Japan. It’s fascinating to think about the intricate designs that exist in nature!
While Okinawa boasts of sandy beaches, not all of them have the sought-after star sand. Famous spots like Kaiji beach on Taketomi Island, Star Sand Beach on Iriomote Island, and Aharen Beach on Tokashiki Island offer the best chance to find it. However, Hatoma Island has star sand spread out all over, and the more remote islands can be ideal places to discover this unique sand.
The adorable star-shaped sand found on the beaches of Okinawa can bring delight to those who discover it. However, there has been a decline in its availability in recent years, and some of the beaches have prohibited visitors from taking it as a souvenir.
To preserve the star sand for the upcoming generations to cherish, it is advisable to check if taking any home is permissible at the designated beach.