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We book vacations around them. We hop in our cars and race to their sugary shores just to bake ourselves in the sun. Most of us look forward to spending our days frolicking on a typical beach, but there is something quite alluring about leaving trails of footprints in black or red sand.
We're not telling you to forget about golden coastlines and turquoise waters, but these seashores are so interesting it seems Mother Nature downed a couple shots before creating their drastic features. If you find these next seven strange beaches inconceivable - just press play.
Hawaii: Punaluu Beach
You will not find golden sand on this beach. In fact, a visit to Punaluu Beach may be hard to fathom because its sand is jet-black. But don't be misled by its murky color; this coastline is far from gloomy. It is lined with palm trees, which rise out of its smoky veins. Punaluu Beach also ranks highly among Hawaii's preferred beaches because of the Green Sea turtles making their way across the shoreline, and the volcanic activity responsible for its transformation. Although swimming is not ideal, this beach will definitely be memorable, especially when trying to shake its dark sand off of your feet.
St. Martin: Maho Beach
You won't mistake these planes for a bird or Superman for that matter.
Don't be alarmed if you suddenly hear the roar of a JetBlue or a US Airways engine slightly above your head. Visitors of this beach are more inclined to plane watch than actually take a dip in the ocean. Maho Beach's proximity to the Princess Juliana International Airport causes airplanes to take off and arrive at such low altitudes, spotters are convinced that they are able to reach up and touch them.
You'll be obliged to bring your camera instead of a swimsuit to capture the way these amazing aircrafts hover over the beach so closely, their reflections glimmer in the ocean.
Word to the wise: beachgoers are warned to stay away from runway 10 because the blasts of the airplanes may cause them to be blown into the water.
California: Schooner Gulch State Beach
Justifiably nicknamed Bowling Ball Beach, visitors migrate here just to capture an eyeful of thousands of huge boulders up close. The Schooner Gulch State Beach resembles a fort created possibly by aliens by the way the peculiar rock formations band together, which appear to be protecting the coastline from intruders.
There is no fun surfing adventure the Beach Boys boasts about on this Californian coast. Instead, beachgoers find themselves mesmerizingly staring at these natural marvels in order to believe they truly exist.
Prince Edward Island: Thunder Cove
There's no need to panic, you're still on earth.
The rusty sands decorating this shore will somehow persuade your mind to think you have transported to Mars. Nevertheless, Thunder Cove is as intriguing as it is impressive, offering sights of gigantic dunes rising out of the ocean. Just imagine how remarkable it would be sinking your toes in red sand or building red sand castles.
From the fiery red colors shimmering throughout Thunder Cove - from afar it looks scorching hot, but up close you'll see it is as warm as the gentle ebb of the sea.
California: Glass Beach
Who knew that pollution would make such an impressive sight?
Serving many years as a public dump, Mother Nature has taken back one of her most prized possessions by emptying the glass remains that were discarded into the sea back onto land.
Not only are visitors lured by the reflection of glass pieces twinkling in the sun, the beach is also home to an array of plants and sea creatures, which add an authentic beach-flair to this odd site. Off course your heart will not desire the feeling of sand in between your toes here, but it remains unforgettable and the only one of its kind to turn pollution into a glorified attraction.
Spain: Playa de Gulpiyuri
This beach is so small you may believe you have stumbled onto a puddle instead. But that's no reason to be fooled by its size because Playa de Gulpiyuri offers no birdbath. Measuring only 40 meters in length, it is extraordinary in its own right. You'll have to travel about 100 meters to actually reach the Cantabrian Sea. However, its water is completely tidal because of a chain of underground tunnels causing the water of the Bay of Biscay to produce waves for every swimmers' delight.
A natural wonder in its own merit, Gulpiyuri Beach noticeably sits amid a green meadow. In fact, it attracts dozens of beachgoers who are intrigued by its small dimensions and odd features.
Mexico: Hidden Beach
Accessible by swimming through a small tunnel, the Hidden Beach takes seclusion to a whole new level. So don't be surprised if you find yourself swimming alone in this paradise. Many people have only witnessed its striking beauty through pictures. That leaves plenty of room for you to enjoy this private escape at your own pace.
The Hidden Beach is exposed to the public only by a gaping hole that allows the sunlight to dazzlingly reflect on its waters. So if you're looking for a sugary treasure hidden from the rest of the world, then your tropical oasis awaits.
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