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This Is How Stunning Sand Looks Magnified Up To 300 Times

Source: Sandgrains.com

When Dr. Gary Greenberg turned his microscope on beach sand, gemlike minerals, colourful coral fragments, and delicate microscopic shells emerged. You will never look at a beach the same way again.

20 Stunning Images of Sand magnified… You will never look at a beach the same way again

Photographer, inventor, and scientist, Dr. Gary Greenberg has devoted his life to revealing the secret beauty of nature. After earning a Ph.D. in biomedical research, he went on to invent high-definition, three-dimensional light microscopes, for which he was issued eighteen US patents. This gallery exhibits sand grains from around the world, photographed through a high-powered light microscope, transforming them into works of art. All images copyright ©Sandgrains.com and shared with kind permission of Dr. Gary Greenberg

The beach at Plum Island, Rowley, Massachusetts, the northernmost barrier island in the United States, gets its pink colour from garnets in the sand. As garnet is denser than most other sand grains, it gets left behind as the waves sweep the less dense material farther away. Magnified 60 times.
1. Pink Sand The beach at Plum Island, Rowley, Massachusetts, the northernmost barrier island in the United States, gets its pink colour from garnets in the sand. As garnet is denser than most other sand grains, it gets left behind as the waves sweep the less dense material farther away. Magnified 60 times. Source: Sandgrains.com
These roundish grains are ooids, grains of calcium carbonate that precipitated from the ocean water along margins of the Great Bahama Bank, one of three areas in the world where ooids are actively being formed. These are from Joulter Cays, located about ten miles north of Andros Island in the Bahamas. The shallow water over the bank results in strong tidal currents; this keeps the ooids in near-constant motion and results in carbonate precipitation around the grains. Magnified 75 times.
2. Ooids These roundish grains are ooids, grains of calcium carbonate that precipitated from the ocean water along margins of the Great Bahama Bank, one of three areas in the world where ooids are actively being formed. These are from Joulter Cays, located about ten miles north of Andros Island in the Bahamas. The shallow water over the bank results in strong tidal currents; this keeps the ooids in near-constant motion and results in carbonate precipitation around the grains. Magnified 75 times. Source: Sandgrains.com
These tiny, glassy orange spherules originate from a fire-fountain volcano that erupted over 3.8 billion years ago. Apollo 17 astronauts discovered this “orange soil” on the rim of Shorty Crater in the Taurus Littrow Valley. Magnified 340 times.
3. Space Sand These tiny, glassy orange spherules originate from a fire-fountain volcano that erupted over 3.8 billion years ago. Apollo 17 astronauts discovered this “orange soil” on the rim of Shorty Crater in the Taurus Littrow Valley. Magnified 340 times. Source: Sandgrains.com
Microscopic shells are the size of tiny grain of sand (magnified 300 times).
4. TINY MICRO SHELLS Microscopic shells are the size of tiny grain of sand (magnified 300 times). Source: Sandgrains.com
These tiny grains of sand have eroded over hundreds of millions of years and their original crystal shape is not longer seen (magnified 100 times).
5. ERODED QUARTZ CRYSTAL These tiny grains of sand have eroded over hundreds of millions of years and their original crystal shape is not longer seen (magnified 100 times). Source: Sandgrains.com
A grain of sand from Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica, is made of chabazite, a glassy cubic mineral.
6. TAMARINDO SAND GRAIN A grain of sand from Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica, is made of chabazite, a glassy cubic mineral. Source: Sandgrains.com
Sand from Japan contains what looks like a sapphire crystal (magnified 150 times)
7. A TINY SAPPHIRE Sand from Japan contains what looks like a sapphire crystal (magnified 150 times) Source: Sandgrains.com
A square-shaped shell fragment is found amidst sand from Masaya, Nicaragua (magnification 80 times)
8. SQUARE SAND A square-shaped shell fragment is found amidst sand from Masaya, Nicaragua (magnification 80 times) Source: Sandgrains.com
Sand from Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii, contains a fragment of a sponge spicule that forms the internal skeleton of a glassy sponge (magnified 100 times).
9. HAMOA SPONGE SPICULE Sand from Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii, contains a fragment of a sponge spicule that forms the internal skeleton of a glassy sponge (magnified 100 times). Source: Sandgrains.com
The tip of a spiral shell has broken off and become a grain of sand. After being repeatedly tumbled by action of the surf this spiral sand grain has become opalescent in character. It is surrounded by bits of coral, shell, and volcanic material.
10. BLUE, ORANGE & PINK SAND GRAINS The tip of a spiral shell has broken off and become a grain of sand. After being repeatedly tumbled by action of the surf this spiral sand grain has become opalescent in character. It is surrounded by bits of coral, shell, and volcanic material. Source: Sandgrains.com
This image is a handful of sand grains selected from a beach in Maui and are arranged onto a black background. The colors and shapes of these tiny grains of sand are surprisingly different and astonishingly beautiful, each with it’s own individual in character.
11. MAUI SAND GRAINS ARRANGEMENT #2 This image is a handful of sand grains selected from a beach in Maui and are arranged onto a black background. The colors and shapes of these tiny grains of sand are surprisingly different and astonishingly beautiful, each with it’s own individual in character. Source: Sandgrains.com
Maui sand grains arrangement shows the diversity of sand grains from a thimble-full of sand from a single beach near Lahaina.
12. HAWAIIAN SAND GRAINS ARRANGEMENT Maui sand grains arrangement shows the diversity of sand grains from a thimble-full of sand from a single beach near Lahaina. Source: Sandgrains.com
Three sponge spicules surround a blue spiral sand grain. Sponge spicules are the internal skeleton of most species of sponges. They are made of silica.
13. SPONGE SPICULES WITH SPIRAL SAND GRAIN Three sponge spicules surround a blue spiral sand grain. Sponge spicules are the internal skeleton of most species of sponges. They are made of silica. Source: Sandgrains.com
Sand grains from Okinawa, Japan are made from the skeletons of single-celled forams that produce these beautiful little shells.
14. PUFFY STAR Sand grains from Okinawa, Japan are made from the skeletons of single-celled forams that produce these beautiful little shells. Source: Sandgrains.com
Sand grains from around the world are mixed together like a pouch full of gems. The sand grains are from Maui, Hawaii, Japan, California, Ireland, Bermuda, and Minnesota.
15. HEART GEMS Sand grains from around the world are mixed together like a pouch full of gems. The sand grains are from Maui, Hawaii, Japan, California, Ireland, Bermuda, and Minnesota. Source: Sandgrains.com
Star-Shaped Sand Grains from Okinawa. These tiny foram, a type of protozoa, secrete beautiful star-shaped, calcium carbonate shells, or tests.
16. PUFFY STARS Star-Shaped Sand Grains from Okinawa. These tiny foram, a type of protozoa, secrete beautiful star-shaped, calcium carbonate shells, or tests. Source: Sandgrains.com
Three sand grains float between a beach and sunset: one coral sand grains and two bits of sea urchin spine are tiny natural mandalas.
17.FOOTPRINTS, SUNSET & 3 SANDGRAINS Three sand grains float between a beach and sunset: one coral sand grains and two bits of sea urchin spine are tiny natural mandalas. Source: Sandgrains.com
When we walk along the beach we are strolling atop millions of years of biological and geological history. Sand from Maui, Hawaii contains grains of volcanic origins, as well as the many remnants of biological organisms such as shell fragments, sea urchins spines, sponge spicules, bits of coral and forams.
18. FOOTPRINTS, SKY & MAUI SAND GRAINS. When we walk along the beach we are strolling atop millions of years of biological and geological history. Sand from Maui, Hawaii contains grains of volcanic origins, as well as the many remnants of biological organisms such as shell fragments, sea urchins spines, sponge spicules, bits of coral and forams. Source: Sandgrains.com
Colorado’s spectacular Great Sand Dunes are the highest sand dunes in North America at around 750 feet. This pretty sand contains a variety of sediments blown from the old flood plain of the Rio Grande River and sediments that have eroded from the nearby mountains. Minerals identifiable in this photograph include the clear quartz crystal (near center), the caramel-colored feldspar grain with the ninety-degree angles, and the two pink, angled-to-rounded garnet grains. Magnified 130 times.
19. Colourful Colorado Sand Colorado’s spectacular Great Sand Dunes are the highest sand dunes in North America at around 750 feet. This pretty sand contains a variety of sediments blown from the old flood plain of the Rio Grande River and sediments that have eroded from the nearby mountains. Minerals identifiable in this photograph include the clear quartz crystal (near center), the caramel-colored feldspar grain with the ninety-degree angles, and the two pink, angled-to-rounded garnet grains. Magnified 130 times. Source: Sandgrains.com
This elegant marine microorganism was found in sand from the Island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean Sea. The area is noted for its diverse marine ecology. The image was created from twelve individual photographs taken at different focus levels. The identification of this microorganism remains a mystery. Magnified 100 times.
20. Mystery Microorganism This elegant marine microorganism was found in sand from the Island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean Sea. The area is noted for its diverse marine ecology. The image was created from twelve individual photographs taken at different focus levels. The identification of this microorganism remains a mystery. Magnified 100 times. Source: Sandgrains.com

See more of Dr. Gary Greenberg’s microscope photography

Click here to view exotic flowers, sand grains from around the world, everyday objects such as food and money, and more. The gallery exhibits objects photographed through a high-powered light microscope, transforming them into works of art. All images copyright © Sandgrains.com and shared with kind permission of Dr. Gary Greenberg.

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