Have you ever looked at the sand beneath your feet? Really looked at it, up close. You probably can't see much because human eyes can't magnify to compensate for such small objecs. But with the aid of powerful high-definition, three-dimensional light microscopes, individual grains of sand can be seen up close and revealed for what they are—unique, spectacular minerals, gemstones and corals.
AAAS member Gary Greenberg is a cellular biologist on a mission to reveal the secret beauty of the microscopic world around and within us. Using his patented microscopes, he has probed grains of sand, human cells and flower petals. In his new book, The Secrets of Sand: A Journey Into The Amazing Microscopic World Of Sand, he showcases photos of sand grains from all over the world. Every grain of sand has been sculpted by nature into a tiny jewel, each with its own shape and color.
In this audio slideshow, Greenberg presents some of the world's most colorful and exotic sands, explaining how and where they were formed.