With Labor Day comes the unofficial end of another summer. Therefore one good long look back at the sultry season on the beach is in order with these awesome animal sand sculptures. You could call them sons of beaches.

Gamboling Dolphins Sand Sculpture
Gamboling Dolphins Sand Sculpture

Image via Pinterest

Un-BEE-lievable!
Un-BEE-lievable!

Image via Twitter

This art form is not something that can be done on just any beach. The sand has to be just right. The best sand is somewhat coarse and mixed with silt and clay. Of course water is also an important part of the mixture.

Sea Turtles at Play
Sea Turtles at Play

Image via Pinterest

Panorama of Dinosaurs
Panorama of Dinosaurs

Image via Wikipedia

Coarse sand allows the silt and clay to bond the irregular grains together so that they will hold a shape. If the sand is finer the grains are more likely to be rounded and unlikely to hold a shape.

Whale Breaching the Beach
Whale Breaching the Beach

Image via flickr

Getting Crabby
Getting Crabby

Image via Pinterest

Some say that the practice started in Hawaii while others claim it started in Japan. Either way it ended up being a huge artistic movement. And it is rather strange since it is something so transient as waves and wind will soon destroy each piece.

Turning the Tables -- Bearly
Turning the Tables -- Bearly

Image via ChicagoNow

Sand Sculpting is for the Birds
Sand Sculpting is for the Birds

Image via Pinterest

Many people only think of sand sculptures as being sandcastles, but the art takes many, many forms. Naturally, animals are a huge part of the sculptures being made.

I'm Gonna Croak
I'm Gonna Croak

Image via Pinterest

Sandy Seahorse
Sandy Seahorse

Image via Pinterest

While playing in the sand is a big childhood activity it seems to have grown up with us. Now artists show up in droves at beaches and other venues to do a bit of spectacular sculpting.

Industrious Sand Dinosaur
Industrious Sand Dinosaur

Image via Pinterest

Androcles isn't Lyin'
Androcles isn't Lyin'

Image via theCHIVE

Of course it doesn't have to be spectacular all the time. Sometimes it is just fun. Some are serious about the sculpting while others just want a good excuse to get really dirty.

Just When You Thought it was Safe to go Back to the Beach!
Just When You Thought it was Safe to go Back to the Beach!

Image via Pinterest

Sand Getting Hammered, er, um, Hammerheaded
Sand Getting Hammered, er, um, Hammerheaded

Image via Pinterest

Naturally sea life is a popular subject for the sculptures, from goldfish to whales. Of course animals more common to human contact, like cats, dogs, and horses, are also popular.

Delaware Doggie
Delaware Doggie

Image via Only in Your State

Exquisite Equine
Exquisite Equine

Image via When Your Bored

A New Meaning for the Cat's Sand Box
A New Meaning for the Cat's Sand Box

Image via Pinterest

The tools for creating sand sculptures are relatively simple -- things like pails, shovels, and hands. I could also see a few more things from the hardware store. A putty knife and a trowel immediately spring to mind. Even a fork and spoon would come in very handy for some of the more delicate work.

Memories of Things Past
Memories of Things Past

Image via EitaPiula

Elephants Don't Mind Wrinkles
Elephants Don't Mind Wrinkles

Image via One Green Planet

You can just imagine how much imagination it takes to put one of these sculptures together. But sometimes you just take inspiration from your own life. If I were going to create a sand sculpture I think I would do one of a pangolin or a tapir, you know, something others probably haven't thought of

Just Dragon Around the Beach
Just Dragon Around the Beach

Image via tumblr

This Crab is Such a Hermit!
This Crab is Such a Hermit!

Image via Twitter

Although, where I live a buffalo would be incredibly popular (Go CU!) Most people would expect me to do a cat, though my guess is that my talents would run more to doing a slug or worm.

Sandy Octopus
Sandy Octopus

Image via Pinterest

Beach Snail
Beach Snail

Image via io vivo a roma

I would love to take up sand sculpting, but there are a few impediments in my way. First and foremost is the lack of a real beach in the area. The only thing is a man-made beach at a reservoir where the sand was trucked in and was more like a fine gravel than true sand. I know from many attempts as a child that the best I could do was pile it.

Hippos in the Sand
Hippos in the Sand

Image via Pinterest

Fish Out of Water
Fish Out of Water

Image via Sandscapes

Second is my tendency to burn almost instantly in the sun even with sunscreen. It reminds me of one sentence from junior high German classes, "Ich bin so rot wie ein Krebs!" "I am as red as a crab!" Third is that I am not very keen on getting sand in my swimsuit.

The Elusive Sand Walrus
The Elusive Sand Walrus

Image via photobucket

Eagle -- the Marines have Sculpted!
Eagle -- the Marines have Sculpted!

Image via Pinterest

So for now I will just enjoy the amazing sand sculpting skills of others. I hope you have enjoyed the ones I have shared with you.

If you happen to be in Southern California this  weekend you may want to stop by the beaches along SanDiego Bay where the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge will be held. Not only will you see incredible sand sculptures created by world-class masters in sand art. If you are truly brave they will even have classes in sandcastle building for you to try your hand at the craft.

Source: Wikipedia, NBC Southern California

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