Pink: the color of bubblegum, valentine’s cards, and Barbie. It is a color that has been associated with social movements and brands, most notably the pink triangle and pink breast cancer campaigns. It has even been shown to calm the nerves and is used in institutional buildings like prisons and hospitals to create a soothing environment.
Pink is not even a “real” color, and some have called it a scientific enigma. It is not a wavelength or particle and does not appear in the visible spectrum (it doesn’t exist in rainbows, for example). We can observe pink not because it actually exists, but rather because our brains perceive that it exists. Trippy.
While that mind-bending reality sets in, consider these instances of pink appearing in nature. Pink is not a color often associated with nature, so these occurrences are all the more spectacular because of the rarity of their color in the natural world.
10 Pink Sand Beach, Bahamas
Looking like a scene out of a technicolor fairytale, Pink Sand Beach stretches along three miles of Harbour Island in the Bahamas. Just out to sea, an extensive reef system keeps the water calm and protects the beach and its visitors—but it is also the source of the sand’s bubblegum hue.
The reef coral is home to a microscopic single-celled organism called Foraminifera, whose shells are bright pink or red. These coral insects are critical to the ocean environment, feeding on coral reefs, sea floors, under rocks, and in caves. But, like all living things, Foraminifera die, and when they do their colorful bodies are crushed in ocean waves and washed ashore. Mixed with the sand and other bits of coral, the Foraminifera give Pink Sand Beach its eponymous color.