Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Hawaii's White Sand Beaches Are Made From Parrotfish Poop

Posted: 03/29/2014 4:32 am EDT Updated: 03/29/2014 4:59 am EDT

There are seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains of sand in the world, according to math geniuses at the University of Hawaii. That’s more sand granules in Earth’s seas, lakes, and deserts than there are stars in the universe.

Where does it all come from? In Hawaii, where beaches are constantly ranked thebest in the world, a significant portion of that pristine, white, beautiful sand is actually poop.

Yep, poop.

Parrotfishes, or uhu in Hawaiian, are key players in regulating algae and reef life. Their parrot-like beaks and fused-together teeth are used for scraping and biting dead coral, while additional teeth in their throats help to break it all down into sand. Snorkelers can actually hear them chomping or see the bite marks they leave on rocks.

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