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Marine Places

Pink Sands Beach

Pink Sands in the Bahamas is a gently sloping beach that faces east onto the Atlantic Ocean. It is protected from ocean currents by an outlying reef. The pale pink color of the sand comes from small, single-celled organisms called foraminiferans, in particular, the species Homotrema rubrum, also known as the sea strawberry. The shells of these organisms are bright red or pink due to the presence of an iron salt. In parts of the Bahamas they are abundant, living on the underside of reefs. When they die, they fall to the seafloor, where they are broken by wave action and mixed with other debris, such as the white shells of snails and sea urchins, as well as mineral grains. This mixture is then finely pulverized and washed up on the shore as pink-colored sand by wave action.

Pink Sands Beachzoom image
  • Atlantic Ocean West
  • Type Dissipative beach, protected by reefs
  • Composition Sand mixed with broken shells and skeletons
  • Length 3 miles (5 km)
  • Location Harbour Island, off Eleuthera, northeast of Nassau, Northern Bahamas
Pink Sands Beach habitat mapzoom image