Monday, January 25, 2010

Sand Collar

Every now and then as I walk along the beach I notice a "sand collar" near the high tide line. Sand collars are obviously the construction of some marine animal, and they are quite fascinating. As delicate as they look, they are sturdy enough to be picked up and handled. A sand collar will fit in the palm of your hand, and it feels almost as if it were made of thin plastic. But it's obviously constructed with beach sand.

(Click on the photo to view a larger image.)

So what is a sand collar? It is a gelatinous mixture of sand and thousands of eggs, put together by the moon snail. It is a simple but elegant more wondrous treasure to be discovered on Ocracoke's beach.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter discusses place names on Ocracoke. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous6:31 AM

    Phillip - have you ever heard of or found a lightning strike on Ocracoke? These are found up in the northern OBX on the beach after a thunderstorm with lightning. The lightning strikes the sand and melts it into odd shapes. They are fairly brittle and will break like glass but look like mini sand sculptures. Let me know if you'd like a picture of one.

  2. Re. lightning strikes on the beach. Yes, I have seen these a number of times. They look just as you describe them. But I do not have a photo of one. I would like to have a photo that I could publish on the blog. You can send it to me at piphoward at embarqmail dot com. Thanks!