Popcorn beach – is it for real or is it an Instagram hoax with photoshopped pictures? Well, we can inform you that it’s real and it’s just as awesome in real life as it is on Instagram! Join us as we explore this magical beach in the northern parts of Fuerteventura!
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Popcorn beach – is it real?
The whole world is talking about a magical place in Fuerteventura. Instagram is exploding with pictures of people holding things that look like popcorn. But while the whole world is in awe about it – the people in Fuerteventura don’t seem to be as impressed! It’s a beach that has been around for years and they don’t understand why there is such an interest in this place now.
It exploded all over social media (well, Instagram) recently and since then people are flocking to this place. And Mini and I were no exception. We decided to go and see what all the fuss was about. We were both pretty sure that we would find a regular beach and that there would be “popcorns” on that beach but that we would have to search for them. Turned out that we were wrong. The popcorn beach is real and there are popcorns everywhere!
The popcorns are not corals
During our visit to the popcorn beach, we had heard that the “popcorns” were actually white corals. So when writing this article, I wanted to read up some more on the phenomenon of how and why the beach was covered in corals. However, while researching, I found out that the white things on the beach are neither popcorn nor corals. It is super interesting because when we posted pictures on Instagram – we got some really harsh comments that we were ruining the beach and that you aren’t allowed to take anything from the beach. Since we never want to promote things that are not allowed or not good for the environment, we felt like we needed to really check out some facts here.
And let’s make one thing straight before we continue… we took nothing from this beach except for memories and photographs. All the popcorns seen in my hands on pictures were later placed on the beach again so no need to get worked up about that. There were many people that wanted to lecture us and we felt unsure if we wanted to write of this place. But now, after doing loads of research we feel safe to write about it and showing you a magical place that used to be a true hidden gem in Fuerteventura.
Will the beach be destroyed by tourists?
My sister listened to a news clip on a Polish program and there she heard that the scientists were saying that within ten years, there will no longer be a popcorn beach in Fuerteventura. Why? Because the tourists are taking the popcorns with them. They don’t just come and visit the beach – no, they load their pockets full with these cute small white pieces. We are really against that kind of tourism. Go there – absolutely, but make sure to just take pictures while there.
Sure it’s easy to think that “I can take one because no one will notice that” but don’t let yourself to be tempted. If every visitor takes popcorns with them there will no longer be a popcorn beach to visit.
No problems walking on the beach and the popcorns
People that commented on our pictures on Instagram (well all the mean comments came through a repost) wrote that we were destroying really fragile corals by walking on them. I felt really bad there for a while but then I started to research and it is not true that you destroy them by walking on them. First of all, they are hard as small rocks. And second of all, they are not fragile corals. What looks like popcorn are actually dead red algae (named Rhodolith). They are not related to corals in any way. While corals or colonies of bugs, the rhodoliths are aquatic plants.
I know, it sounds weird that the white small popcorns are actually red algae. I mean, they are not red – they are white. But there is a reason for that to. The algae accumulate calcium carbonate in their cells. When in the ocean they are rocking on the seabed and get their shape. When they die, their skeleton remains and then they become white due to the lime that remains. The waves bring them to the beaches.
The popcorn beach in Fuerteventura is not unique
This phenomenon is neither new or unique. A lot of people will say that the only popcorn beach is the one in Fuerteventura but that’s not true. You can find beaches like that all over the world and in both warm and cold waters. Ok, the density of them is really high on the beach in Fuerteventura, but that is not the only place where you can find them.
And when you take a closer look at the popcorns you will see that they don’t all look the same. There are pieces that are more round and look like somebody’s spit out gum and then there are some that look like small cauliflowers. One thing’s for sure – they mostly really look like popcorn. We are pretty sure that if you would mix them up with real popcorn, people would take the algae by mistake. Well, the taste is not the same and your teeth might not be the same after biting into these hard rocked small white cute things.
Visit the amazing popcorn beach in Fuerteventura
We had an amazing time at this beautiful beach. It was really like someone just dumped loads and loads of popcorn right on the beach. We had fun, taking pictures and playing around. This is a really great place to visit, but not a beach where I would like to lie down and spend the whole day. The popcorns are super hard and they are not at all comfortable to lay down on.
This is a phenomenon that you really don’t want to miss. And there is nothing that will be destroyed by you being there! Just make sure to not take any of the popcorns with you back home. If everyone just goes there to admire the beach there is no need to worry about destroying anything. And it is really the perfect place to get some awesome and impressive pictures!
Getting to the popcorn beach
The popcorn beach is located in the northern parts of Fuerteventura not far from the town of Majanicho. Once you get to Majanicho, drive for about ten minutes until you see a small café. There you have the beach and also a good parking spot where you can leave your car (or like in our case, the motorhome).
Since the popcorn beach has really exploded, becoming really popular – you can also just search for it in Google maps and you will be guided to the right place. Make sure to check it out! Popcorn, chewed gum or cauliflower. Let your imagination run wild. This place was one of our absolute favorites while visiting Fuerteventura. And yes, we took a LOT OF PICTURES. We also made a movie about this magical place! Hope you like it.