It is common to compare the stars of the sky with sand grains to see the universe’s vastness. Well in Japan, you will literally see star-shaped sands in some beaches in Okinawa Prefecture.
Enjoy a walk along Hoshizuna no Hama, the Star Sand Beach on Iriomote Island. Let your feet sink into the sand. This beach has an unusual type of sand. It is very extraordinary.
You’ll find tiny, star-shaped grains on your feet of sand. These are actually tiny husks made by millions of tiny Foraminifera. The tide brings Foraminifera ashore from the Western Pacific Ocean coral reefs when they die.
There are approximately 10,000 species of Foraminifera that can create shells in a variety of designs. Shells with star-shaped shapes, like the one created by the Baculogypsina species, are scarce.
Beaches on a couple of islands in Okinawa have these kinds of star shaped sands.
Some of the famous beaches to find these star-shaped sand are Kaiji Beach on Taketomi Island, Star Sand Beach on Iriomote Island and Tokashiki Island’s Aharen Beach.
Star sand is also available on isolated smaller islands as well as in Hatoma Island.
The star sand’s cute appearance can bring joy to anyone who finds it. However, it has declined in quantity, and some beaches have banned people from taking it home.
To help preserve the star sand for future generations, be sure to verify whether you are allowed or not to take any sand from the beach.
Also read about 5 Things You’ll Miss When You Leave Japan