Stunning Sands Gallery: A Rainbow of Beaches

A Rainbow of Sands

red sand beach

(Image credit: Alainlee |

Summer brings to mind images of beaches with warm yellow sand, but there's actually an entire rainbow of unique-colored beaches. Let's start with red … Cabot Beach, located near Malpeque at the northern shore of Canada's Prince Edward Island, boasts clay-red sands. The beach's amber hue comes from soil that contains a lot of rust. Prince Edward Island was formed on a sedimentary bedrock of soft sandstone that produces the rich, red soil.


red sand beach

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This photo of a red sand beach in Santorini, Greece, was taken on Oct. 4, 2004. Located near the village and ancient site of Akrotiri, the beach is below soaring red and black lava cliffs.


orange sand beach

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Qinghai Lake is located in Qinghai Province on the northwest plateau of China. To the right of the photo, a golden-hued sandy island rests inside of the lake.


golden sand beach

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Monkey Beach in Tioman Island, Malaysia, boasts stretches of golden sand. This shot of its tranquil shores was taken on July 7, 2009.


yellow sand beach

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Yellow sand beaches may be common, but they're no less beautiful.


green beach sand

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The extraordinary olive-green sands of Papakolea Beach are located near the southern tip of Hawaii's Big Island. The sand comes from small green volcanic stones that originated from the lava cliffs surrounding the small bay. These loose rocks become eroded and crushed into the fine sand that lines the beach's shore.


blue sand beach

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The sun rising above this dark sand beach brings out the navy blue hue of its shores.


purple beach sand

(Image credit: Mariusz Jurgielewicz | Dreamstime)

This beautiful photo of Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, Calif., was taken on June 12, 2010. The sand gets its plum color from manganese garnet particles that wash down from the hillside that overlooks the beach.


pink sand beach

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The pastel pink sands of Coldbackie beach are located on the fittingly charming named Rabbit Islands. These three small, uninhabited islands are off the north coast of Sutherland, Scotland.


white sand beach

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Florida's Siesta Beach is known for having the whitest sand in the world. In fact, the beach is so scenic that it topped the 2011 list of the 10 best beaches in the United States, which is organized by Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research in Miami.


gray sand beach

(Image credit: Natasa Zmaher |

Slate-gray sand can be found at the Shelter Cove beach in Humboldt County, Calif. The sand's unique color comes from nearby eroded shale cliffs.

Remy Melina was a staff writer for Live Science from 2010 to 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Hofstra University where she graduated with honors.