The popular image of a beach is typically a relaxing coastal enclave nestled against pristine, azure blue waters. While this is correct most of the time, there are many beaches throughout the world that don't fit neatly into this mold. It could be their unique location, unusual landscape or interesting tourist attractions, but some stretches of coastline have turned into large draws due to their strangeness, and according to The Weather Channel, there are a few in particular that stand above the rest.
Boulders Beach, South Africa
Located a short distance from Cape Town, there's a good chance you've never seen anything quite like Boulders Beach. For starters, as its name might suggest, it is comprised of inlets situated between enormous granite boulders. Still, its unusual geologic landscape is not what makes it so unusual, the beach is also home to a colony of African penguins that have been living there for more than 30 years. In fact, an estimated 3,000 penguins currently call the beach home. Of course, there are still plenty of opportunities to swim in the crystal clear waters.
Gulpiyuri Beach, Spain
One of the smallest beaches on the list, Gulpiyuri Beach also has arguably the most unusual origin story. According to the Daily Mail, the beach was formed when a sinkhole flooded in the middle of a meadow. The beach is only about 131 feet long, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in novelty. For instance, despite being surrounded by land it is filled by salt water, experiences tides and even has a fair share of waves. Perhaps most appealing is its remote location, making it a great option to get away from the crowds for a day.
Papakolea Beach, Hawaii
The Aloha State is certainly not lacking when it comes to pristine beaches, but none are quite like Papakolea for one simple reason - it has green sand. There is only one other green sand beach in the world (on Galapagos Island), but Papakolea is an especially appealing destination. The sand gets its unique coloration from olivine crystals that originated from eruptions of a volcano that has long since disappeared. Getting to the beach by car is not easy, so most people choose to get there by foot, which gives you the chance to see some of the most beautiful scenery in Hawaii.