Believe it or not white sand is actually fish poop. Yes, you read that right!
The truth is that this poop is really small pieces of coral which the parrot fish spend their time nibbling during the day. The parrot fish doesn’t feed off the coral, it eats seaweed and polyps from the surface but, at the same time, because of its beaked mouth, it gets a ‘plus’ of hard coral which it breaks up with the teeth in its throat.
Rainbow Parrot fish
The existence of this species of fish is essential to the survival of the coral as it acts as a ‘natural cleaner’ of parasites, etc. that grow on it, so without the help of the parrot fish the coral would die.
We’re talking about an insatiable fish that spends the whole day eating and ‘discharging’ without a break and that’s why just one parrot fish can produce 100 kg of white sand every year!
This doesn’t mean that all the white sand to be found on tropical beaches comes from the poop of the parrot fish: scientists confirm that these fish are responsible for about 70 per cent of all the sand on the tropical beaches.