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How is Cayman's Cool White Sand Created?


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ronnie2158Reply with quote
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:02 pm    Post subject: How is Cayman's Cool White Sand Created?
 
I have walked on many sandy beaches all over the world and on hot days, in most parts you cannot bear the heat on the soles of your feet but on the beaches of Cayman, even on the hottest of days the sand is comfortable------------come on you boffins, why is that??



Title edited for clarity - Joe




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haltomReply with quote
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:10 pm    Post subject:
 
I certainly don't know, but I'm excited to have a new vocab word!!




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Joe StebbinsReply with quote
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:49 pm    Post subject:
 
The white powdery white sand on most of Cayman's beaches is produced by the surrounding reef ecosystem. Termed biogenic, Cayman Islands sand is comprised primarily of the skeletal remains of aquatic plants and animals. Its extremely fine and soft texture combined with its white reflective color makes the sand cooler and softer than that of most continental beaches, which are typically comprised of terrestrial sources such as decomposing rock.



Wave and current activity constantly pulverize the corals, calcareous algae and shells of various sea creatures into fine smooth grains, which are bleached white by the sun. Calcified green algae also play an important role by contributing marine sediments. The calcified sand is deposited from natural bodily activity by many marine animals, such as sea urchin and parrotfish, which collectively produce a significant amount of sand. Parrotfish, with their sharp teeth and parrot like beak scrape algae from rocks and grind the coral exoskeleton as they eat the tiny polyps within. Being unable to digest the hard skeletal material, it passes through their digestive system, which is excreted as sand. A single parrot fish can produce several tons of soft white sand during its lifetime.



Next time you are diving or snorkeling near the reef, keep an eye out for a Parrotfish; if you are not sure what they look like, you will find them on our Fish ID card in Activity Guide. You will not only be able to see them munching on the reef but if you listen carefully you will hear the sounds of their beaks as they feast on the coral. If you observe them long enough, you will eventually see the excrement leave their body and settle slowly to the bottom of the ocean.


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NorthSideSueReply with quote
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:25 pm    Post subject:
 
Thanks, Joe!




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RavenchyldeReply with quote
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject:
 
clapping read ThumbsUp wow Thanks Joe......




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spiritmanReply with quote
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:58 pm    Post subject:
 
WOW...is that really Joe????




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Shaun BerlizerReply with quote
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:44 am    Post subject:
 
This is really a great beach destination to visit and this island is a very perfect place to get all the re-vitalization and rejuvenation for sure.




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JermyReply with quote
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:34 am    Post subject:
 
Quote:
A single parrot fish can produce several tons of soft white sand during its lifetime.


Is this true? Several tons?




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Joe StebbinsReply with quote
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:56 am    Post subject:
 
Jermy wrote:
Quote:
A single parrot fish can produce several tons of soft white sand during its lifetime.

Is this true? Several tons?



Quote:
From Ihow.com
Parrotfish are deemed ecologically necessary to the health of the coral reefs, though they were once thought to be nuisances. Parrotfish keep algae blankets from smoothering the coral reefs. They also produce tons of sand a year from the breakdown of small coral bits they remove when scavenging for algae. [emphasis added]


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raschro1Reply with quote
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:07 pm    Post subject:
 
reading everything on here is wanting me to start planning my second vacation, even though i haven't been on the first one yet Smile




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SherryCReply with quote
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:57 am    Post subject:
 
I have been to Cayman in July when the sand was so hot that you couldn't walk barefooted on it. So..............it does get hot!!




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shellyReply with quote
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:02 pm    Post subject:
 
Wow Joe

I always thought it was coral sand and that was why it was cool. Guess I never got the whole picture.

Shelly :-)


Next Vacation : 109 Days ( Grand Cayman )    Start : Dec/09/2014     End : Jan/08/2015


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allmypostsReply with quote
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:21 am    Post subject:
 
@Joe,

Are you saying, that the sand there isn't sand at-all. Is it some kind of animate matter (but dead)?
To my knowledge, corals are marine animals.




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Joe StebbinsReply with quote
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject:
 
allmyposts - Yes, the remains of corals exoskeleton, primarily.


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divesergeantReply with quote
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject:
 
Joe Stebbins wrote:
allmyposts - Yes, the remains of corals exoskeleton, primarily.



...as processed by our beloved parrotfish!


I love when these older threads get resurrected. Reading the posts, and the posters' names, is like a stroll through memory lane.

How are you Joe?


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