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Shell Beach in Western Australia

A+great+view+of+Shell+Beach.+
A great view of Shell Beach.

A great view of Shell Beach.

via TripAdvisor

via TripAdvisor

A great view of Shell Beach.

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Shell Beach, in Denham, Australia, is a unique marvel located in Shark Bay World Heritage Area. What makes Shell Beach such a distinctive beach is that it doesn’t have any sand. Unlike most beaches where sand is making up the coastline, billions of tiny white shells run miles along Shell Beach in Western Australia. As well as being entirely made out of shells, the calm sea water at the beach can transform into the most vivid and intense shades of greens and blues.

Many curious travelers may wonder why the beach has so many shells. The answer is found in nature. The high amount of saline in the water allows a clam-like species called the cockle to thrive in the bay. The cockle is a species of marine bivalve mollusk only to be found in Western Australia. These creatures measure less than fourteen millimeters long and their small shells are what makes up the beach’s shore. Since their predators, like starfish and marine catfish, can’t inhabit the water due to the high amount of salt, the cockle can breed and live without any threat to their population. The mollusk then burrows down into the seafloor around four feet and twenty-one feet, where it lives the rest of its life.

The shells were also used to construct buildings around the area. They have been compacted into a sedimentary rock known as coquina. These stones were quarried for building materials before Shark Bay became a World Heritage Site in 1991. A nearby coquina quarry near the Hamelin Pool Nature Reserve of the compacted cockle shells. Even though coquina is now only used to maintain historic structures, some of these buildings can still be seen today in Western Australia.

Although families can’t build sand castles, snorkel for fish, or lay down on the sand, this beach is a good place for younger kids that don’t know how to swim yet. The high salinated, calm water makes floating easy, so parents won’t have to worry about their youngsters and are able to enjoy the shell-filled beach. Kids may also snorkel for fun, even though there is not much marine life around.

National Geographic listed Western Australia’s Shell Beach in its list, “21 Best Beaches in the World”. In that list, they mentioned the Old Pearler Restaurant which is made entirely out of shells from the beach. Despite the fact that beach and shell lovers find the beach an incredible sight and a phenomenon of nature, make sure to wear closed toed shoes and not to roll on the shells when there.

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Shell Beach in Western Australia