Star sand and Sun sand

Foraminifera or more precisely their calcareous tests are very common components of many beach sands.

Lots of so-called coral sands are composed mostly (or in large part) of foram tests. These tests are usually worn out and barely recognizable. Still, some fresh examples of certain genuses look really spectacular. Probably the best example is a star sand from Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

This sand is actually composed of several foram species. Two of the most eye-catching genuses are Baculogypsina and Calcarina. Sometimes they are treated separately and called the Star sand and the Sun sand, respectively.

Below are pictures of selected foram tests picked from a sand sample collected in Hatoma Island (200 km east of Taiwan).

Foram species Baculogypsina sphaerulata
Foram species Baculogypsina sphaerulata. The width of the view is 15 mm.

Foram genus Calcarina
Foram genus Calcarina. The width of the view is 20 mm.

2 comments to Star sand and Sun sand

  • Kaitlyn

    Also, I really love this one too. If there is anyway to get a sample of both of these I would be eternally grateful!

  • I believe it is possible to buy this sand but most likely in small quantities. I have seen a vial (less than 10 ml) with a label Baculogypsina sphaerulata. I guess it was sold in some Japanese scientific centers because it also had hieroglyphs. I doubt that this sand is sold in larger quantities. I am not aware of any supplier in the whole world who offers various sand types. There is very little market for this.