If you've ever walked along a beach, you know that the sea offers up a never ending supply of interesting things to look at. Seaweed, shells, driftwood, seaglass... you just never know what might wash up!
One of our favorite things to pick up on the beach are sea beans. We count ourselves lucky with each and every bean find. And we aren't the only ones... our sea bean guide says that ancient surfers wore sea bean necklaces for protection, and sailors carried sea hearts for luck on long journeys.
So what's a sea bean?
They are the seeds (or the fruit) of tropical plants that float down rivers or streams, then across oceans to wash onto our shores and begin a new life. Sea beans have very hard outer casings and internal air pockets which allow them to float in the ocean, sometimes for years, before they germinate.
One scientist, John Dennis, has been studying the floating ability of sea beans. So far, his beans have been afloat for 32 years!
There's an amazing array of sea beans, so keep a look out next time you walk along the shore!
For tons more information about sea beans, including how and where to find them, how to identify them, polishing and even growing sea beans, check out the sea bean site!
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Nature— the sublime, the harsh, and the beautiful— offers something that the street or gated community or computer game cannot. Nature presents the young with something so much greater than they are; it offers an environment where they can easily contemplate infinity and eternity. —Richard Louv