What are the most important facts about sand? Sand is much more important than most people realise, and in this article I will tell you exactly why!
Facts About Sand
Sand, a seemingly ordinary and useless substance, is the most crucial element found on Earth. Many facts about sand are still unknown. It not only stretches from one shore to another but also holds the power to transform the world’s ecosystem. Each grain tends to have its history and evolutionary secrets.
Sand is the only thing that has helped this world evolve from caves to large villas. There are so many untold secrets that sand holds in it. Those secrets that sand hold are interesting enough to dig in and know more about the historical evolution of Earth.
So pick up your mystical shovels and be ready to dig in 25 important, fascinating, yet unknown facts about sand.
1. Sand is Primarily Composed of Silica
Sand, which covers almost 99% of the earth’s land surface, is predominantly made up of a mineral found in abundance in nature, Silica. This is the first of the many facts about sand that one should know. Silica or silicon dioxide forms sand grains by erosion and weathering processes.
It is due to silica that it is an essential resource in many industries and a natural habitat for many creatures.
For us, sand is nothing but tiny grains that get our Converse dirty. But do you know it takes over a thousand or even millions of years to form one tiny grain of sand? Every grain of sand holds a significant value and history of the earth and displays many facts about sand.
This remarkable journey of forming a tiny grain starts with the slow decomposition and erosion of big rocks like quartz into small fragments, which then travel through rivers and streams to their actual destination, the shores, and then with your sandy converse, around the world.
When we consider sand, we see it as a single mineral. In realistic ways, sand combines minerals like quartz, feldspar, mica, magnetite, etc. This composition of minerals varies with the region.
In deserts, you will find different minerals, and on the beach, they will be all different. Like that, every mineral contributes a specific quality to the attributes and facts about sand.
One of the most astonishing facts about sand is, on the one hand, it is to be found everywhere, but on the other hand, it does not cover more than just 4% of the total earth’s crust. Well, that 4% itself is of great value.
It has become an important resource for extracting underground minerals, creating a habitat for living creatures, and making human survival easy. Do you know that this seemingly small 4% of sand is so much that if it were even lessened to 3%, much of our ecosystem would have died?
5. Sand can Sing, Too, under Certain Conditions
Sand is a quiet and peaceful phenomenon, but it can sing too! Many people believe it is a myth, but the truth is that there is a natural concept of “singing sand,” where sand produces a melodic eerie when dunes slide or shift by the influence of footsteps or even winds.
Researchers talk about this sound as one of the most peaceful melodies worldwide. This is one of the most soothing secrets and facts about sand. These singing secrets of the sand also depend upon the shape, size, and moisture content locked in a grain of sand.
So the next time you are on a beach, instead of talking, try catching the melodic notes of sand. Isn’t it a shocking fact about sand?
Sand is, in no shadow of a doubt, a valuable mineral and acts as a building block of our entire ecosystem. However, some harsh facts about sand are that it is neither sustainable nor infinite. The sands found in abundance are in human use of construction and instruction at a rapid speed resulting in their rapid depletion.
The unsustainable use of sand in industries and mines makes it even more of a harm than a useful resource. As a result, many regions worldwide are dealing with harmful effects and scarcity of sand, destroying the ecosystem slowly and gradually.
7. Sand Comes in a Rainbow of Colours
Sand is usually visualised as golden beaches and deserts, but there are many bizarre facts about sand that it does not come in just one colour but in a rainbow of colours. This variety of colours is due to the amazing composition of minerals and ph levels with other components.
Every other colour of sand displays the power it holds, just as black sand is rich in volcanic ashes and is beneficial for crops. The white sand is rich with quartz, and the list goes on. This stunning palette of colours is mesmerising and has essential benefits.
8. Sand is a Natural Filter for Ground Water
One of the most important facts about sand is that it plays as a natural filter for groundwater. It might sound bizarre, but this is the truth. Sand, with its mineral composition, has a lot of anti-bacterial properties because of its porous structure.
It fights back bacteria, worms, and other pollutants trying to contaminate groundwater. By becoming a natural barrier, it makes the groundwater clean and safe to consume.
Glass and mirrors are two of the commonly used essentials in every household, but do you know without sand, none of them would have been formed? Sand is melted and fused into a galaxy mass which is then shaped and molded into various objects.
Not just mirrors but glass of all kinds and forms like window shields, bottles, microscopes, and other kinds owes their foundation to sand and, to be more precise, Silica sand.
The beauty of the USA’s landscapes is breathtaking. Well, do you know that much of those landscapes are formed from gypsum sand? The national park of the USA, which consists of amazing art in the form of landscapes, is famous for having most of it formed from gypsum sand.
Gypsum sand creates beautiful dunes that look like a sea of white from a distance. These natural sculptures display the beautiful relationship between geological factors and the environment.
If you are a nature enthusiast, you might know about the volcanic fields around the world, but what you might not know about is the fact that where there is a volcanic field, there is black sand.
When a volcano erupts, the lava inside oozes out and flows in the surrounding areas, which, when it cools down, turns into solid black rocks and then black sand. This black sand is a geological wonder with immense power and force against the earth’s surface.
Seemingly useless sand has endless qualities, and one of the amazing qualities and facts about sand is that it is a natural, versatile abrasive. These abrasive properties come from their gritty and hard texture.
Being a natural mineral, it serves in the industries like construction, polishing, and metalwork for smoothing and polishing surfaces. Sandpaper is another amazing thing made up of sand that smoothens up the surface with efficiency and effectiveness.
One of the best facts about sand is that it is a part of various processes and cycles. Just like other processes, sand plays a vital role in carbonation. When exposed to carbon dioxide, it combines with it and forms carbonate minerals.
Those minerals are transferred back to the earth’s crust. The whole purpose of this process is to regulate carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Out of many properties and facts about sand, one is about the magical properties of silica sand. Silica sand is famous for its excellent drainage properties, along with its texture and nature. Silica sand prevents waterlogging if used with sand to improve agricultural fields.
Along with that, it helps the roots to nourish and increase oxygen levels beneath the surface to improve soil quality. Silica sand is used worldwide in gardens and agriculture to improve drainage and aeration.
15. Evidence of Ancient Sand Found on Mars
We all know that the Red Planet or Mars has always been a research ground for NASA. With their technologies and satellites, they made an astonishing discovery about Mars that it has traces of ancient sand that also is a part of Earth. Many facts about sand revolve around this discovery.
Scientists researched, again and again, to confirm that they were not mistaken, and they found huge evidence of sand, dunes, and ancient sand properties of sand. This fact makes it clear that life is expected on Mars with all those properties found there.
The sand was always there since the start of this mortal world, and so is associated with many historical findings and beliefs. Sand has been an essential element of metal casting worldwide historically.
When not many resources were available, and people just made their way to civilization, they had sand. The sand casts metal objects by pouring molten metal into the sand mold. From casting metal to cooking in clay pots, sand has always been a part of human life.
Have you ever heard of biogenic sand? This is the sand produced by living organisms. It might be one of the shocking facts about sand, but many marine animals, like parrotfish, eat algae and carols.
Consequently, they excrete calcium and fine minerals, which turn into sand. This kind of sand is usually common in tropical reef atmospheres. This sand is a great fertilizer.
Have you ever witnessed the sand on the shores shining at night? Well, this is because of the bioluminescent plankton in the water, which makes the sand glow at night.
These tiny particles with waves come to the shore and mix with the sand, creating a blue glow. This dreamy view can be witnessed on the beaches of Maldives.
19. The Sand Sea is the Oldest Desert in the World
We always talk about the facts about sand, but what is more fascinating are the vast areas created by sand that make world records. One of those sandy wonders is the Sand Sea, located in the heart of the rich Sahara desert.
The sand sea is known to be the oldest desert to exist. Also known as Erg, this desert covers countries like Egypt and Libya. This dessert is the pen for adventure and activities, and thousands of people visit here every year to dive down into the depths of the Sand Sea.
Apart from being on beaches and deserts, sand also possesses other properties, like its magnetic properties. This is one of the most fascinating facts about sand, as we know that there are different kinds of sand available all around the globe.
Some of those types contain magnetite, a highly magnetic mineral. These monastic properties allow and create aesthetic patterns on the surface and align with other magnetic minerals. However, different kinds of sand have different magnetic properties.
The facts about sand’s power to shape land’s ecosystem are understandable but have you ever heard of their ability to form the underwater world? Sand plays a crucial role in forming underwater sinkholes, which in one way or another, transforms life in water.
As the water drips down on the rocks, they create holes by dissolving them. These holes are filled with sand but can collapse anytime, but as more and more sand piles up, the rock collapses, making a sinkhole. These sinkholes transform the underwater world immensely.
Sand has been the most used natural element in human history. In the lane of civilization, many inventions were introduced to the world. One of those inventions is the hourglass, a simple yet precise device used to calculate time.
It was like two wine glasses attached through a narrow neck filled with fine sand. Time was observed through it for a good time, and it was no ordinary device then. Sea navigators and sailors used it to reach their destination.
This adds to the fact that sand has a big role in the discovery of the USA and many other discovered countries.
We all have that one amazing memory of building sand castles at the beach with our siblings, but do you know that there has been a world record for building the tallest sand castle in the world? It might be one of the strange facts about sand, but sand enthusiasts worldwide collaborated on it.
In the town of Binz in Germany on the Baltic Sea coast, artists and sculptors from around the world joined and built the tallest sand castle. By surpassing all the previous records, this castle became an eye-catching view for tourists at 69.4 ft.
In renewable energy resources and the world agenda, sand plays a vital role, especially in saving solar energy. For solar energy, vast areas of sand are used to concentrate and reflect sunlight to the central receiver.
One of the important facts about sand is that it plays a crucial role in giving life to new energy-generating technologies to make this world a better place. There is no doubt that one day, it will be used for more such sustainable purposes too.
Sand is considered an abundant resource and is wasted to a large extent. Still, one of the facts about sand most people don’t know about is that the unsustainable and wasteful uses of sand globally have resulted in the early depletion of sand.
It is a finite resource and can not be renewed if it ends. The loss of sand is gradually resulting in the loss of biodiversity, a damaged ecosystem, and many other issues which are now being looked at carefully.
Beyond the geological importance, sand is a historical endeavor too. It has given birth to some of the most fascinating landforms, landscapes, sculptures, and sand castles. Not only is it used to save the world from drowning, but it also played a vital role in giving rise to art forms and turning this world into an artistic marvel.
These were some of the facts about sand we tried to cover for you all. From this fascinating gift of nature, we got life. We should appreciate every bit of it. Moreover, if you are a nature enthusiast, check out these articles too.