Black sand Punaluu Beach, Hawaii
Have you ever imagined that besides the light colored sandy beach we are used to, there are also completely black sand beaches with black sand. There are several of them in the world, but the most famous one is Punaluu Beach, located in the southeastern part of the Big Island of Hawaii.
It’s actually not sand, but volcanic basalt crumbs that are formed by lava bursting out of volcanoes, the volcanoes themselves are in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The lava explodes as it enters the ocean water, gets cooled by the salty ocean water and crumbles into tiny particles that are pushed to the shore by the waves, turning the beach black.
The water near Punaluu Beach is cold and very uncomfortable to swim in, all because of the numerous fresh underground waters flowing on the beach. This fresh water is very cold and looks almost like gasoline mixed with water. Fresh water enters the ocean where it rises to the surface of the salt water because of its lower specific gravity. In this arid region has always been in need of fresh water, in the past, locals to get fresh water dived into the freshwater springs near the shore with jugs or empty pumpkins and scooped fresh water into them.
Although the waters of Punaluu Beach are cold, but you can sunbathe on the beach like any other. Do not be surprised when next to you will be sunbathing on the black sand, the inhabitants of the beach – the turtles, they are seen here two species: Bissa (Hawksbill) in Hawaiian sounds – Honu ea and Honu (green turtle), which can weigh up to 230 kg, they feel free here, because the law because they are endangered. They categorically can not touch with hands and feet, and it is forbidden to take out of the beach, even a handful of this unusual black sand, and according to local beliefs of the natives, the one who does that, will be cursed by the Hawaiian volcanic goddess Pele.
Black Beach Punaluu in Hawaii
Usually, if a person sees black sand on the beach, he immediately tries to leave there as quickly as possible. What does this have to do with it? More often than not, black sands are radioactive and, as a result, harmful to health. However, in our story it is quite different. Everyone hurries to this beach from all over the world to admire its beauty and enjoy the atmosphere, and everyone is absolutely sure that here he will get only good and a lot of positive emotions. Where is it and what is this wonder? It is the black beach of Punaluu in Hawaii, which annually receives a huge number of tourists. Can’t wait to learn more about it? Then take five minutes in this article and learn all the secrets of the beach.
Why is the black beach of Punaluu not harmful?
Contrary to our usual notion of black beaches, Punaluu is completely harmless to humans and animals. The fact that the black sand here has a completely different origin: it is the crushed remains of volcanic lava and ash, preserved on the beach from time immemorial. If you examine them closer, you can see small stones and crystals.
Resting on the beach
Despite the fact that it is really unique scenery, tourists do not stay long at this beach. What is the reason? First, the water throughout the year remains quite cold. The fact that here are several streams, as well as numerous sources of fresh water.
In nature, it is customary that the salty sea water and fresh water mix very slowly and for a long time. Therefore, the cold waters of the springs almost do not change their temperature even in the hotter period. Fresh water is at the bottom, and there is a belief among the locals that in times of drought, the ancient Indians dived to the bottom with a jug to get drinking water.
Second, the coast is surrounded by rocks, and the bottom has the same uneven and uncomfortable surface. Consequently, swimming may not be very pleasant.
In addition, the black sand heats up much faster than usual, so you hardly want to spend the whole day on the beach. It is better to come either early in the morning or already in the evening, when the sun slowly begins to go down.
The inhabitants of the beach
And yet, the number of tourists on the beach Punaluu annually only increases. This is due not only to the color of the sand, but also the fact that here you have a unique opportunity to see a rare, endangered turtles. Very often they come ashore and walk peacefully next to tourists. However, it is not allowed to get too close to them.
Local residents believe that the body of turtles can not cope with some of the bacteria that are in the human body, and it threatens them with death. Therefore, special beach workers, if they see a turtle on the beach, put a sign next to it that reads: “The turtle is sleeping after a long journey. Please do not approach it closer than 2 meters”.
The black beach of Punaluu is really beautiful, but if you want to take with you at least a handful of sand as a memory, you are not allowed to do so. The locals believe that it can anger the ancient goddess of volcanoes Pele and therefore it is forbidden by law to take away the sand from the beach. And yet, it is worth coming here at least for the magnificent views and vivid impressions!
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