Kiko, you tourist guide
How are the beaches of Menorca formed?
Today Hooky has get me up early to accompany him for a long walk on Son Bou beach. He says that walking by the seashore when is dawning is one of the great pleasures to make holidays in Menorca. Can you come with us?
This is the longest beach on the island. 2.5 km of fine and clear sand and a well-protected dune system. How are beaches formed? Where will so much sand come from? Why do not the waves and the wind take her away? Hooky laughs, ready to tell me everything he knows as we take off our sandals and start our morning walk.
How are the beaches of Menorca formed?
"How many questions, Kiko. You've lived near the sea for years and have you never wondered what the origin of the beaches is? Well, it's very simple. The waves, the tides and the wind bring the sand to the shore. It builds up and the beaches are formed, "says Hooky.
"Yes, but where does so much sand come from?" I say intrigued.
"Kiko, the rocks, the corals, the plants and even the fish and other dead animals that are in the bottom of the sea are worn away by the waves and tides movements. It is called erosion and causes the small grains of sand that reach the coast to form and look for places to stay and pile up. Have you ever found bits of shells in the sand? So, little by little, the beaches that we like so much are appearing, "Hooky tells me.
It's amazing, it sure takes a long time to train, right? The beach of Son Bou is so big that it will have taken many years for it to be so beautiful. But do not the waves and the wind take away the sand? It's so fine that a good storm could leave the beaches empty! "
Why are you taking the sand?
Hooky gets serious imagining beaches without sand, he loves to make castles and to play rolling up like a croquette!.
Sure!" He says, "and you will be one of the culprits because you come often to the beach and every time you take a part of the sand!"
"But Hooky, what do you say, I take care of the beach a lot. I never throw garbage so that it is clean and if I see plastics that the sea brings I take them to the wastebasket ", I say to him a bit sad.
"Yes, Kiko, I know. But without realizing it, we always get sand. In the towel, in the feet, in the backpack that we have brought, ... Do you know that a study was done on this topic and they concluded that in Menorca, among all of us who go to the beach, we take more than 300 tons of sand every year! "Says Hooky.
This makes me think because I love to make excursions to those beautiful corners of Menorca that have small coves. Surely it is not easy for them to disappear, but what can we do to avoid it?
Do the beaches move?
Hooky says that the beaches are in constant movement. Well I have not noticed anything! That's why he wants us to do an experiment. We have sat on the shore and I have been looking at the sand.
"Do you see how the grains of sand move? The waves bring them and carry them. The wind picks them up a little and moves them to another place, "says Hooky.
"It's true, the sand moves! Slowly and gently it changes place. Look Hooky, they're going backwards and they've formed piles of sand behind the beach! "
"Yes, it's the dunes and you'll see that plants grow on them. They help keep the sand accumulated. They are very important because they protect the coasts and guarantee the existence of the beaches because they are their natural sand reserve. It is a landscape with great ecological value ", explains Hooky.
"In Son Bou the dunes are protected and you cannot walk through them because behind is El Prat, which is the second most important wet area in Menorca after the Albufera de Es Grau Natural Park"
"That's right, Kiko, and el Prat receives water from the ravines of Es Bec and Son Boter that are behind. They also collaborate in the formation of the beach and contribute remains of their white rocks to the sand, "says Hooky.
White or golden sand?
The southern Menorca beaches, such as Son Bou, have fine, clear sand. But some beaches in the north of the island are golden sand, even reddish, and a little thicker. Do you know why? Everything depends on the origin of the sand.
In Menorca limestone rocks with very light ocher tones and white mares abound. They are part of Son Bou sand. But the sands of other beaches, such as Cala Pregonda, are feed by these limestones, clays and other older and darker stones. Do you remember that in Pregonda we saw remains of volcanic rocks?
That is why the beaches have different colors depending on where they are on the island.
In addition, they say that in Menorca the sea is so clear because of the light colors of marine organisms remains which formed the sandy bottoms. This is why they do not darken the water and show it with those blue colors that call our attention.
The value of the Oceanic Posidonia
This marine plant is very beneficial for Menorca. I have told you about her on other occasions. Some people think they are algae, but no. They are plants that oxygenate the sea water and contribute to its excellent quality.
"If you look at Son Bou from the sky you will see a kind of dark spots in the blue sea. They are meadows of Posidonia, natural barriers that collect the sand and provided a privileged habitat for many fish and other marine animals such as starfish, "I tell Hooky.
"They are a kind of marine forests. Its leaves hold the sand so the beach does not disappear when there are wind and rain storms "he replies.
Let’s take a shower!
We have taken a good dip to refresh ourselves and we have gone to see the ducks that are always at the entrance of the beach. Hooky has become very serious and he has told me:
Now, in these showers on the beach, we are going to remove all the sand we have on top. Clean your feet very well because you have already seen that beaches are very sensitive natural environments and it is up to us to preserve them as they are now. "
I am already showering with great care because Son Bou is one of my favorite beaches and I know that you also like to come here to play and swim with your families.
And now I'm running with Hooky to have a good breakfast at Los Olivos restaurant to get to Club Kikoland soon. Today there are a lot of activities scheduled with which we will have fun with our friends. And you, did you know how the beaches of Menorca are formed?