Harbour Island is most renowned for its pale pink sand beaches some 3 plus miles long and 50 to 100 feet wide. The beach is considered one of the very best pink sand beaches in the world. The sand is a composition of bits of coral, broken shells, minute rocks and calcium carbonate from tiny marine invertebrates.
The pink color comes from tiny microscopic shelled animals known as Benthic Foraminifera. This animal has a bright pink or red shell full of holes through which it extends a footing, called “pseudopodia” which it uses to attach itself and feed.
These animals live on the underside of the reefs, on the sea floors, beneath rocks and in caves. They are washed up on shore as a result of waves or fish who knock them loose as they feed on them. Foraminifera are among the most abundant single cell organisms in the ocean and play a significant role in the environment.