Shark bay, Australia, is a world heritage site, and its beaches are one of only two in the world.
This unique tourist attraction stretches for 70 kilometers on the western edge of the Australian continent. And the shells are not only huge, but also incredibly abundant, reaching depths of up to 10 meters in some places.
Surprisingly, the shells here are very homogenous, derived from the same mollusk shell species, so the entire shell beach looks uniform and uniform in color. How did so many shells accumulate here? In fact, the unique geographical environment here has a crucial relationship.
Shell beach is located in the deepest part of horseshoe shaped shark bay, and the world’s largest shoal of seaweed blocks the surging tide, keeping it calm all year round.
In addition, the terrain and climate result in very little precipitation, allowing the whole water area to form an independent ecological environment. Evaporation is greater than precipitation, which makes the water in the area extremely salty, almost twice as salty as the Indian Ocean. This concentration of water largely eliminates predators and provides the perfect environment and nutrients for shark bay’s scallops to thrive.
Without the influence of the tide and the sweep of predators, the tiny shell shells here proliferate like crazy on the seafloor. Although each shell is tiny and only a few millimeters in size, time has great power. Over the course of thousands of years, the shells they left behind accumulated to form the shell beach we see today.
There are so many shells that over the years they have been used to build houses, restaurants and churches. The practice was popular in the 19th and 20th centuries and once gave the area a distinctive aesthetic, but the practice has been banned since 1991, when shark bay was granted UNESCO world heritage status.