WWII "war sand" on the beaches of Normandy


12 Responses to “WWII "war sand" on the beaches of Normandy”

  1. Teller says:

    I used to think shrapnel in battle was composed entirely of shards of metal but it also includes pieces of human bone, a foul discovery.

  2. Conan Librarian says:

    “Like sand in an hourglass, so are these the shrapnels of our howitzers.”

    -Erwin Rommel

  3. Chairman MAO says:

    It is a very fascinating read, as is his blog, Through the Sandglass http://throughthesandglass.typepad.com/through_the_sandglass/

  4. Ipo says:

    I remember that game.  

  5. fergus1948 says:

    This would make great vacation reading together with ‘A Complete History of Rust’ and ‘Dandruff; Its Cultural Implications in a Post Industrial Society.’

    • Jay Parser says:

      Boo, hiss, wink. It is an absolutely excellent book about one of the most important substances that exists. At this very moment you’re typing on sand, across sand, and to sand.

      • Teller says:

         Agree. Read “Cod” and “Salt.” May as well read “Sand.”

      • penguinchris says:

        I was going to say – that book sounds awesome both for its content (but hey, I’m a geologist) and also because it takes a seemingly boring topic so seriously and earnestly. You know a book like that is going to be interesting.

  6. Halloween_Jack says:

    Reminds me of the section in China Mieville’s The Scar in which they land on the island (the one with the anophelii) which is littered with the remains of ancient machines; a close examination of the red sand on the beach shows that it’s composed of billions of nearly-microscopic rusting gears.

  7. GlenBlank says:

    Anyone interested in the composition of beach sand should take a look at A Grain of Sand: Nature’s Secret Wonder, Dr. Gary Greenberg’s  stunningly gorgeous (and surprisingly educational!) book of sand-grain microphotography.

    There’s a whole world of gemlike wonder and biogenic surprises to be seen when you look very, very closely at what looks like “plain ol’ sand.”

  8. cap cavern says:

    I grow up in Normandy by the sea . I remember ,as a kid,  looking for “little orange spaghetti .This “spaghetti” were hard like a seashell . So we would break them to form letters and light them . Even wet it would burn intensively and leave a black mark . it was cordite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordite . They were still easy to find in the 80′s and 90′s .

  9. OoerictoO says:

    wtf is that, what looks like a perfect sphere 100um across, upper left?
    edit: NM. RTFA, and they purport the spheres ARE the steel, possibly melted and cooled. i wouldn’t think the shrapnel would errode/rust that way.

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