Hoshizuna no Hama, or the Star Sand Beach, in Okinawa, Japan, is one of the world’s strangest beaches.
Tiny sand stars cover this beautiful beach. But these star-shaped particles are not really sand particles but the fossils of tiny, mono-celled sea creatures, scientifically called Baclogypsina sphaerulata.
These tiny sea creatures live among the sea grass and prefer shallow water. When they die, their exoskeletons are washed up on the beach in enormous numbers.
Locals have a mythical story about this beach: The star shells are the children of the North Star and South Genius constellations. The descendents of the stars fell from the sky into the ocean off Okinawa, where they were killed by a giant sea serpent. Now their little skeletons appear as the beautiful star-shaped grains of sand that are scattered across the beach.