You may think you know all there is to know about beaches; some are sandy, some are pebbly, some are big and some are small.
Well, we’re here today to tell you there’s plenty you don’t know about beaches, and to prove it, we’ve put together a few facts about beaches that you may find surprising.
1. White Sand is not as innocent as it looks.
Most white sandy beaches are produced by the excretion of the parrotfish. Yep. That beautiful white sand is effectively pooped out by a fish that feeds on coral. The coral is broken down within the fish and the little granules emerge as fresh new grains of sand that will eventually wash up on the shore. Sort of ruins it a bit now you know that doesn’t it? Well at least the parrotfish is a pretty cool looking fish… it could be worse.
2. London Had a Beach.
In 1934 King George V decided that Londoners deserved a beach, so he arranged for 1500 tons of sand to be hauled from Essex and dumped in the Thames between St Katherine’s Steps and The Tower of London. This transformed the mudflats into a beach that could hold 500 people at a time for five hours a day at low tide. Cool, huh? A lovely sandy beach smack bang in the middle of London. You may be surprised to learn that this beach was in use until 1971 when the government decided it was probably best not to let the public wallow in polluted river water.
3. The Longest Beach has competition.
The longest beach in the world is Praia Do Cassino Beach, Rio Grande in Brazil. It’s a whopping 212km long… but as Cornwall has over 640 km of coastline, we feel we still beat Praia DoCassino Beach by a long way…. 428km to be exact.
4. Victorians did weird things at the beach.
The British seaside tradition is as old as the Victorians. It was during that time that the factory workers in the city discovered the benefits of sea air and a bit of family fun time! So obviously plenty of Victorians flocked to Cornwall and other beachy zones of the UK where they would do strange things like use these horse drawn bathing machines. They would be dragged into the sea where they could change in private within the confines of their ‘machines’ before having a dip in their skimpy bathing costumes away from prying eyes. they would then clamber back inside their bathing machine, get changed and be towed back along the beach to mingle.
5. Sand Dunes are more important than you think.
Sand Dunes cover approximately 2% of Cornwall. They are natural sea defences, they are important habitats for plants and wildlife, they can give clues to human impact on the coast and they can harbour many historical secrets. For example… did you know that many locals believe the Dunes at Crantock cover the ancient village of Langurroc?
6. Crantock Beach is the bestest most beautifulest beach you ever did see.