Before he became Dark Vader, Anakin Skywalker once said “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.” What Anakin failed to recognize is that sand actually has a dark side to it. Well, our sand does, at least (I can’t speak for the desert planet of Tatooine). What I am talking about is Magnetite; that dark stuff that appears on our beach every once in a while:
Magnetite is one of many minerals in our sand. Its dark color and heavier weight is what makes it stand out on windy days, while quartz and lighter sediments blow around. Also, magnetite is magnetic! So bring a magnet with you the next time you’re on the beach and have a blast!
Too bad Anakin didn’t know about this dark side of sand. His path would have been much shorter, sparing us of those terrible prequels.
For those who are actually really interested in this topic and the sedimentology of our beaches, please visit http://www.geo.hunter.cuny.edu/bight/sediment.html