California's 'Man Made' Glass Beach

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If you happen to be driving along Northern California's Mendocino coast, you will come across a very unusual stretch of coastline - One where the shimmer comes not from the pure-white sand but pieces of glass - Welcome to Fort Bragg's man-made Glass Beach!

However, this sparkly beach where colorful glass pebbles have replaced the sand, is not the work of some genius artist but nature's big-hearted way of correcting careless polluting habits by human beings.

The history of this unique beach goes all the way back to 1949, when believe it or not, the area was officially designated a public dump. This meant that the locals could throw all kinds of things here ranging from normal household trash to even old cars - Amongst all this of course, was a lot of glass.

This practice continued until 1967, when officials at the North Coast Water Quality Board finally seemed to realize that polluting the pristine beach was not such a great idea. They not only moved the official dump somewhere else, but also, shut down the area of the beach hoping, that nature would heal this colossal human mistake.

And that's exactly what happened. For 30 years, the waves pounded on the accumulated trash, assimilating some and breaking and molding the glass into tiny smoothly rounded pebbles and tossing it back to the beach.

In 2002, the 38-acre area was bought by the California State Park System, cleaned up and opened to the public, as part of the MacKerricher State Park. Today, Glass Beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists not only because of its unusual 'sand', but also, because of its array of tide pools, that house Crabs, mollusks and many interesting aquatic plants.

Resources: amusingplanet.com, fortbragg.com

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175 Comments
  • cupcakesruleMonday, February 29, 2016 at 7:28 am
    I better not get hurt on these beach. never going to beach again
    • I love PotatoesThursday, February 25, 2016 at 10:57 am
      Nah Really?
      • NobodySunday, January 24, 2016 at 7:40 pm
        That's cool.
        • peanut04
          peanut04Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm
          I love to collect sea glass--but since it's a state park I can't. :(
          • Charlie_PotatosTuesday, March 3, 2015 at 6:16 am
            I really like pie. It is delicious.
            • lollipopFriday, January 30, 2015 at 8:57 am
              me too omg
              • EmmaThursday, January 29, 2015 at 10:06 pm
                Love it!
                • AJThursday, January 29, 2015 at 10:00 pm
                  I must have glass!!!! :3
                  • OMG1234Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 9:03 am
                    I wouldn't want 2 cut myself on that stuff. Would u?
                    • foodfan
                      foodfanSunday, March 1, 2015 at 10:57 pm
                      they said in the video that its completely harmless to step on them.
                    • jackieminniemoo
                      jackieminniemooTuesday, January 13, 2015 at 3:33 pm
                      amazang!!!!!!!!!!!! Totes cool