Magnified photos expose the secret beauty of sand grains

These magnified pictures of sand reveal its beauty. (Dr. Gary Greenburg, sandgrains.com)

When you head to the beach on a hot summer day, the glimmering ocean waves capture your attention. But a series of magnified photographs may inspire you to turn your gaze to the sand, where little-seen beauty lies right underfoot.

Dr. Gary Greenberg’s photographs magnify grains of sand 100 to 300 times, exposing swirling microscopic shells, eroded crystals and colorful coral fragments.

The grains come from diverse beaches around the world, reaching from Okinawa, Japan, to Maui, Hawaii, to Smith Mountain Lake, Va. Each fragment is unique in character and remarkably beautiful.

Greenberg’s website explains that he has spent his life “revealing the secret beauty of nature.” With the help of high-quality microscopes, he creates “spectacular landscapes of worlds beyond our everyday perception — worlds where reality is seen as abstract form and color, motion and texture.”

To see more of Greenberg’s microphotography, including magnified images of food, flowers and the human body, visit his website.