Minami Beach is covered with white and tan marine sand grains representing several different foraminifera species.

Geographic Overview

  • Minami Beach Hateruma Island Taketomi Okinawa Sand Geography 1
  • Minami Beach Hateruma Island Taketomi Okinawa Sand Geography 2

Hateruma is a small oval shaped island 6 km wide and 3 km from north to south and has a population less than 500.  Hateruma was formed by raised coral reefs and is a little hilly but without mountains. The color of the surrounding sea is called “Hateruma blue”. Fields of sugar cane are spread throughout the island. This island is Japan’s most southern inhabited island.

Minami Beach Map
Sand Location

See where this sand sample was collected on Google Maps.

Earth Map
Virtual Sand Tour

Explore an interactive map of Minami Beach on Google Earth.

This spectrum of sand grains and fragments represents the wide diversity of marine species that comprise this Minami beach.

Circular, star-shaped, and round foraminifera species, including two in the center with finger-like protrusions, dominate this sample. Most of the round forams lack detail having been worn smooth by wave action. Other bits and pieces are difficult to identify but fragments of disk-shaped forams are also present.

This higher magnification show some of the detail of the small start-shaped forams as well as two large tan forams with finger-like protrusions.

An off-white circular foram with radial striations show the intricate microstructure of this foraminifera species. Other forams as well as a large unidentified fragment with drill holes suggestive of predation are present along with small bits and pieces of marine fragments.

The wide spectra of different forams is present in this view. The center fragment with circular protrusions is a piece of sea urchin skeletal plate.