While talking about beaches, most people probably imagine themselves roasting in the sun, splashing about in the water or sipping a cocktail at a bar. But the beach has more to it than the usual fun-and-sun related activities. Did you know that…
#1 Brazil boasts the longest uninterrupted sandy beach in the world. The southernmost beach — Praia do Cassino — runs for 212 kilometers (132 mi) to 254 kilometers (158 mi), depending on different sources.
#2 Australia’s Whitehaven Beach is the world’s most popular and Instagrammed beach spot at the moment. However, this sandy beauty is only accessible by helicopter, seaplane or a boat.
#3 The white sand that almost always invites you to kick your shoes off and let it run through your toes is actually just fish excrement.
It’s produced by parrotfish by nibbling on coral. It’s not able to metabolize the coral and it then ends up back in the sea. Surprisingly, one parrotfish can produce up to 100 kg of sand a year.
#4 After several failed attempts, an international team of sculptors and technicians finished the world’s biggest sandcastle in June 2019 in Binz, Germany.
The completion of the castle required some 11,000 tons of sand but the team managed without using any internal structural support. With its 17.65 m (57 ft 11 in) and 26 meters in diameter, the castle has made earned its place as the tallest sandcastle in the Guinness World Records.
#5 Thinking back to times of ships still conquering the world, a beach was hardly a fun place to be. A real change came in about the 18th century when people started appreciating the healing powers of fresh air and sea bathing.
During the Industrial Revolution in Britain, for example, factory workers were seen as strong while the upper class of society was regarded as rather fragile. Therefore, doctors would often prescribe visiting the beach to cure many ailments.
#6 Surfing was reportedly first observed by Europeans on a ship in Tahiti. It dates back to ancient Polynesian cultures of which it was an important part rather than just a hobby. The best riders would gain the most respect in their respective communities.
#7 A way of not getting your smartphone wet when visiting the beach would be to opt for a message in a bottle. You might have to wait quite long for a reply, though. In some cases, even a few centuries long.
In 1784, seaman Chunosuke Matsuyama dropped one such bottle on an island in the Pacific. It was only found in 1935, or 151 years later, in Japan.
#8 Allegedly, every one in three people who visit a beach can’t swim.
#9 It’s hardly a surprise that Australia has the largest number of beaches — over 10,000 of them! But to be fair, Russia has the largest coastline but most of it faces the Arctic so not much chance of enjoying a sunny day at the beach there.