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Singing Sand

Apparently there are some beaches that sing. More specifically, the sand on these beaches makes a "singing, squeaking, whistling, or barking" sound when you walk across it or run your hand over it. From Wikipedia:

On some beaches around the world, dry sand will make a singing, squeaking, whistling, or barking sound if a person scuffs or shuffles their feet with sufficient force. The phenomenon is not completely understood scientifically, but it has been found that quartz sand will do this if the grains are very well-rounded and highly spherical. It is believed by some that the sand grains must be of similar size, so the sand must be well sorted by the actions of wind and waves, and that the grains should be close to spherical and have dust-, pollution-, and organic-matter-free surfaces. The "singing" sound is then believed to be produced by shear as each layer of sand grains slides over the layer beneath it. The similarity in size, the uniformity, and the cleanness mean that grains move up and down in unison over the layer of grains below them. Even small amounts of pollution on the sand grains reduces the friction enough to silence the sand.

The sand here in San Diego definitely doesn't sing, and all the pollution we get from Tijuana guarantees it'll never make a squeak! Lake Michigan has some of the most famous singing sand. Some videos below.



Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Jan 06, 2013 | Number of Comments: 7
Category: Nature, Natural Wonders
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Comments
Listed in chronological order. Newest comments at the end.
Presumably this is the same effect that produces the singing dunes we saw a while back. Kewl.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 01/06/13 at 10:17 AM
Jim Reeves made it sound more romantic: Listen to This
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/06/13 at 10:56 AM
I've experienced squeaky sand many times before in san diego.
Posted by jay in san diego on 01/06/13 at 12:24 PM
Nature holds many wonders. I am sure there is a scientific explanation, but it is still magical.
Posted by patty in Ohio, USA on 01/06/13 at 10:44 PM
So oiling the beaches prevents them from squeaking? Now who would-a thought??
Posted by tadchem on 01/07/13 at 08:11 AM
Exon & BP just to name a couple.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/07/13 at 09:16 AM
The British Isles are reputed to have more singing beaches than any other country, at least thirty-three at the last count.
Posted by Happy Jack in UK on 01/09/13 at 06:50 PM
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