I always knew there were a wide variety of sands, and that they were all made from worn down shells and rocks. But I had no idea just how different the varieties look when they're put under the microscope. WebEcoist has a great gallery of magnified beach sand from across the Hawaiian islands—and even a few samples of moon dust.

The project was completed by Dr. Gary Greenberg, who used high-powered microscopes of his own design to photograph the images since 2001.