What you see below isn’t a beautiful, sandy beach. Sure, it’s a beach, but that definitely isn’t normal sand. It’s the coast of the Salton Sea, a shallow body of water in California’s Imperial and Coachella valleys. It’s the largest lake in California and, as the years go on, it’s getting saltier. The salinity of the sea is getting so bad, it’s killing millions of fish and creating this grotesque beach.
The Salton Sea was created on accident in 1905 when an irrigation canal from the Colorado River broke. A lake formed from the resulting spillover. Because this man-made, accidental lake now has no inlet or outlet, it’s leeching salt from the surrounding soil. It’s 30% saltier than the Pacific Ocean.
It’s grotesque because this isn’t sand: it’s just the bones of dead fish.
Countless fish have died in the salty sea, leaving their bones to wash ashore and break.
Over time, this has created “sand” made entirely of fish bones.
So if you’re ever going for a walk along the Salton Sea….
You might not want to go barefoot.