Walking along Star Sand Beach on Iriomote Island in Japan, visitors may not even notice the incredible reason for its beautiful name. Upon close inspection, its heavenly white sand is actually composed of tiny stars.  

The sand at Hoshizuna No Hama (Star Sand Beach) is made of tiny star-shaped shells that were produced by microscopic Foraminifera. The beach's sand has accumulated throughout time as the tide brings the shells of dead Foraminifera ashore. 

There are around 10,000 species of Foraminifera, and each creates a unique shell design. The star-shaped shells created by the Baculogypsina sphaerulata are rare and found on only three islands in Japan — the Hatoma, Iriomote, and Taketomi islands of Okinawa.


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Isn't mother nature grand?