Pink beach: a miracle of nature or the result of human activity?

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A sunny day, blue sea and… a pink beach? This is not a dream, but a reality! Although the sight is associated with a fairy tale, pink beaches really exist and can be found in various corners of the world. We are beginning the vacation season, a time to visit interesting places and enjoy the sights. Pink beaches are places loved by tourists. Where are they located? Where did their distinctive coloration come from?

A unique treasure of the Italian coast

One of Italy’s protected islands, Budelli is a lovely patch of land that has been uninhabited for centuries. At its shores stretches a true natural wonder – the pink Spiaggia Rosa beach. Budelli is part of the Arciepelago della Maddalena – a group of islets off the northern coast of Sardinia, forming part of the so-called “Arciepelago della Maddalena. Emerald Coast (Costa Smeralda). Seven islands of the archipelago since 1994. Has the status of a national park. Spiaggia Rosa is the most phenomenal and at the same time the most inaccessible place for tourists in Italy, and perhaps in the whole world. An absolute ban on entering the sand was imposed here 30 years ago.

Spiaggia Rosa like a forbidden fruit. Why is it so protected?

Tourists are to blame for everything. The fine rates for entering the enticing soft-colored sand reach draconian amounts. For many years, people treated it as a souvenir of their travels and took it with them, so that the beach began to lose its unique color. As a result, entry, swimming and boat anchoring have been banned. As a result, this unique place regains its unexceptional appearance. Nowadays, it can only be admired from a distance by taking advantage of cruise offers on the Arciepelago della Maddalena.

Keeper of the pink beach

The only resident of Budella Island was Mauro Morandi. The man took care of this little paradise for 32 years, protecting its natural beauty from the tourist crowd. He arrived on Budelli in 1989 when his catamaran broke down. Shortly thereafter, he learned that the then guardian of the island was retiring. Fascinated by the place and its natural beauty, he decided to replace him

Unfortunately, in 2013. The private company that owned Budelli went bankrupt. The island was put up for sale, and Morandi faced an uncertain future. In 2016. The Italian government took over Budelli and made it part of La Maddalena National Park. Nevertheless, the guard had to end his service. It is comforting to know that someone else has taken over the care of the pink beach.

Pink beach painted by nature

Spiaggia Rosa is unique in that its sand is indeed an amazing shade of pink, due to several factors that have combined to create a fairy-tale landscape.

The warm waters surrounding Budella Island are rich in underwater meadows formed by the seagrass, Posidonia Oceanica. Rose borers live in its rhizomes. When they die, their skeletons (bioclast) sink to the bottom. Sea currents are also involved in the process, transporting crushed bottom sediment particles, moving them to shore.

Also contributing to the pink coloration of the beach is the other organism living in the area – the red bryozoan, commonly known as false coral, to which it bears a strong resemblance. The hard part of the skeleton that builds the body of bryozoans, analogous to pink borers, is transported by ocean currents and deposited on the beach in the form of pink sand.

Pink beaches around the world

Our planet is rich in places where the pink beach is an attraction for tourists. Similar views can be enjoyed at:

  • Elafonisi Beach (Crete, Greece);
  • Pantai Merah (Komodo, Indonesia);
  • Platja de Ses Illetes (Formentera, Balearic Islands, Spain);
  • Harbour Island beach (Bahamas);
  • Great Santa Cruz Island (Philippines);
  • Crane Beach (Barbados);
  • Horseshoe Bay Beach (Bermuda);
  • A beach on the islet of Tikehau (French Polynesia);
  • Bonaire Pink beach (Caribbean).

Pink beaches – an endangered beauty

Unfortunately, pink beaches, like all beaches, are subject to various threats, such as:

  • Erosion: waves and currents can gradually erode the pink sand, reducing its surface area;
  • Pollution: human activities, such as tourism and settlement development, can lead to pollution of beaches with waste and sewage, which negatively affects the microorganisms and algae responsible for the pink color of the sand;
  • Climate change: global warming and extreme weather events can cause changes in marine ecosystems and coastal erosion.

Protecting the pink beaches is extremely important if we want to preserve this unique beauty for future generations. This can be done through:

  • Restricting tourism: introducing protection zones and restricting or banning tourism in the most vulnerable areas;
  • Combating pollution: keeping beaches clean and implementing marine conservation programs;
  • Education: raising awareness of the value of nature and encouraging tourists to use places such as pink beaches responsibly.

Pink beaches are true natural wonders worth protecting. By taking decisive action, we can ensure that these remarkable places will continue to impress with their beauty for many years to come.

Photo. main: Nathan Jennings/Unsplash

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