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Sand is a mixture of very small pieces of different rocks or minerals. It is the same minerals from which those pieces are broken, such as granite and feldspar. Sand is gritty to touch. It is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. Sand is also formed from various rocks by weathering and erosion. Erosion breaks large boulders into smaller rocks. They get smaller and smaller until they reach the beach or a low-lying area as sand.
Sand grains are commonly white, brown, tan, cream, red, grey or black in color. The shape of a piece of sand can help determine its source and age. Pronounced angles often indicate a recently formed grain.
Some people collect samples of sand as a hobby. These people are called ‘arenophiles’. Sand is one of the primary components of soil, and the ratio of sand to clay and silt, partly determines the quality of the soil and how it can be used. Sand helps with soil water drainage which is often important to plants.
Dry sand can be dangerous if inhaled, so caution must be taken while using machines such as sandblasters to prevent lung damage.
Sand has many applications, such as making sandbags to keep things in place. Sandbags are often used to block water to control flooding. It is also used for concrete and brick making. Sand is the main ingredient in glass making. Children like to play in it and make sand castles or other structures.
Examples of Sand
Sand dune on a beach in Calabria.