The sand dune is a fascinating phenomenon. From the peaceful beauty of
it's silhouette against the setting sun to the warm healing qualities just walking
on it offers, the sand dune holds far more than we perceive.
Singing dunes fall into the family of the 'musical sand' phenomenon. Musical sand is desert or beach silica that has the right abrasive qualities to make a variety of sounds when it moves over itself. The mechanics of the sound is quite like that of a cricket rubbing his legs to make a churp. Singing sand on beaches is a fairly small scale phenomenon compared to 'booming sand' which is found in desert regions hosting very large sand dunes. Although the sounding action and the quality of the sounds each type makes is essentially the same 'booming sand' is considerably more impressive in volume.
Musical sand tends to relate closer to the areas that produce a gentler
more lovely tone resembling brass horns.
Because musical sand is rare it is difficult to study. There are relatively few
areas in the world that even have sand capable of producing these sounds. This
is why many people are not aware of its existence.
Pollution can degrade the sound-producing capabilities of some of these areas; for instance, several squeaking sand beaches have become silent when severely polluted. This tends to take place on beach sand that does not have the capabilities of dune sand to be blown and aerated. Pollution can settle and build up over time on stagnant sand.
While walking along the crest line of the dunes at Dumont California I ultimately decided to bound straight down the dune face close to midnight when all was quite. To my delight as each of my steps sunk into the soft sand a humming sound could be easily heard and the vibration that traveled through my shoes and up my leg was a sensation that I would describe similar to riding a Harley.
The next time you are at the dune should a clap of thunder surround you on a clear
sunny day and all those who are with you dive to the ground covering their heads. Stand tall!
Scan the dune's silhouette and tell them what the Doctor told you about this incredible