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Riddle of the sands: the truth behind stolen beaches and dredged islands

01.07.2018
Příroda
The insatiable demand of the global building boom has unleashed an illegal market in sand. Gangs are now stealing pristine beaches to order and paradise islands are being dredged and sold to the construction industryParadise is a beach, we are told. Pristine white or coral pink. We leaf through brochures in search of perfect sand. There is a Paradise Beach on Barbados, and in Croatia, and Thailand, and South Africa, too. In every tourist-hungry part of the globe, in fact. The naturalist Desmond Morris believes that, as descendants of water-loving apes, we are hard-wired to seek out these places, lulled by the rhythmic advance and retreat of the ocean as we soak up the sun, sand grains trickling through our workless fingers.And so much to go around. Man has always used sand as an analogy for the infinite, a limitless resource, ordinary and yet magical, incapable of exhaustion. When astronomers seek to impress upon us the size of the universe, they speak of stars being more numerous than grains of sand. There are quite a few grains, as it happens - 7.5 x 10 to the 18th power, according to researchers at the University of Hawaii. That's 7 quintillion, 500 quadrillion - give or take the odd trillion. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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