Pink Beach Komodo Island – Why is it Pink?

Why Is Pink Beach Pink?

The Komodo National Park is world-famous for its dragons and scuba diving.  Visitors from the world over travel to Indonesia to visit this “New 7 Wonders of the Natural World” destination.  Of course, getting the chance to photograph dragons is the top of most visitors wish list. However, visiting Pink Beach comes in a close second.  Search on social media for “Pink Beach,” and you are inundated with beautiful photos of a very unique place. Of course, the first question many ask is: “Isn’t that just Photoshop?”  There is always a bit of editing in a photo, but believe it or not, the beach really is pink! Let’s delve into what makes the beach pink and how you can experience it yourself.

What Makes Pink Beach Pink?

Like any beach, Pink Beach is made up of millions upon millions of tiny pieces of sand.  Sand is broken down rocks and/or coral that washes ashore. If you are familiar with parrotfish eating corals, and then pooping it out, you have seen the process of sand creation in action! But what exactly makes the sand here red? There are a couple of different things that make it so. A red coloured microscopic animal called Foraminifera is present in the surrounding water.  These tiny animals boast a shell made of calcium carbonate, and when they wash up on shore, they make up a portion of sand. Many of these Foraminifera can be red or pink in colour.

The other culprit, probably making up a more significant portion in Komodo, is the skeleton of organ pipe coral. Organ pipe coral (Tubipora musica) is found in the Indo Pacific region and is a type of soft coral with a calcium carbonate exoskeleton. When these soft corals break down, their skeleton commonly washes ashore.  It’s easy to find more substantial pieces of distinct pipe coral when beachcombing in Komodo. It’s the mix of these calcium carbonate shells with the regular white sand that makes Pink Beach pink! There are very few of these extraordinary beaches throughout the world.

Pink Beach Komodo Water

When to Visit?

One thing that may surprise people, the beach doesn’t always look pink.  When visiting during mid-day, many people comment, “why does it look white?” This is due to the sun shining down from straight above. The intense light creates a white look to the beach on general inspection.  It’s only with a close look that the beach will look pink when the sun is burning high. Instead, the late afternoon on a sunny day is the best time to see the beach at it’s best. The low light and warm hues of the late afternoon sun really picks out the red bits of sand.  This is by far the best time to photograph the phenomenon.

One little known fact, the famous “Pink Beach” is not the only one in Komodo National Park. Several neighbouring beaches also feature these beautiful coloured sand and excellent snorkelling.  As the famous Pink Beach itself can become crowded with tourists, the Samata often visits our secret ones instead. Our secret beaches offer much better photo opportunities away from the crowds.  Why not talk to us today to discuss your trip to Komodo and how you can discover Pink Beach for yourself?

One of the most exiting things to do in Komodo is scuba diving. Read about our Top 5 Favorite Dive Sites in Komodo.


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