Gorgeous, high-magnification sand photos



I’ve often wondered what happens to the grains after they grind together
till there is nothing left. Just a bunch of molecules at the bottom of the beach?

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At what point do tiny shells and other small objects recognizable in and of themselves transition from being “small things mixed in with sand” to “components of the sand itself?”

Isn’t that clay?

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That one grain of sand looks alot like a worn down shell, but I’m sure that is just coincidence.

There wouldn’t have been enough time to erode that small, since the earth is only 6 to 10 thousand years old.

God sure works in mysterious ways :expressionless:

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No. That would be silt. Silt is the product of physical weathering. Clay is the product of chemical weathering.

This has been your geopedantry moment of the day.


Is there a geopedantry archive? because this is the first entry I’ve read, and I rather enjoyed it…


Surf is sort of like a giant rock tumbler, and shells are pretty soft, so shell to sand grain is likely to be not just geological-scale short, but human-scale short. Weeks maybe? Not that I don’t appreciate the point you’re going for, but I thought I’d go for some geopedantry too.


More likely, the photos are part of the Atheist Anti-Religion Assembly (AAA) and their effort to undermine the Creation Truths.

These “sand grains” are obviously man-made, created by someone sanding and polishing full-sized shells down to grain size.

Don’t let these non-religious nuts pull the wool over your eyes.

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So, I guess this isn’t the same Gary Greenberg that used to smoke weed with David Brooks?

Strange, because this really sounds like something a pothead would do.

“Have you ever really looked at sand, man, I mean really looked at it?”

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The collection on Greenberg’s own website is better than the random blogger first mentioned here.

These are beautiful, thanks for posting.

given enough time they might ultimately become sandstone

Nope, this Gary lives in Hawaii. Pot essayist Gary is a therapist in Connecticut.

I would love to see the process he uses to create these photographs.

Come to Maui during the Institute for Astronomy Open House in the fall. Dr. Greenberg generally has a lab open, with the stereoscopic microscopes and cameras he uses for his work. He’s a pretty social guy and would probably enjoy talking shop.

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