Wednesday, Jun 28 2017
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place'
Ian Frazier

Dire threat to 'sparkling jewel' beach where nature turned pollution into beauty

By The Siberian Times reporter
27 May 2017

Old glass bottles dumped by man were crafted by the sea into a magical tourist attraction, but the sight will be gone in 20 years, says expert.

Jewel of the Far East of Russia, the Glass Beach in Vladivostok. Picture: The Siberian Times

The unique cliff-sided beach on Ussuri Bay - known here as Glass Bay - has been likened on sunny days to sparkling jewellery or lighted candles.

Once jagged and dangerous shards of broken bottles, porcelain and tiles have been smoothed and polished by decades of erosion.

Nature corrected man's mistake, and stamped its own imprint.

The beach attracts throngs of tourists each summer, yet without more pollution it will be gone forever in two decades, partly due to souvenir hunters, says expert Professor Pyotr Brovko.

Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia

Glass beach Siberia

Glass beach Siberia



Glass beach Siberia
The bottles - dumped in the Soviet era - were pummelled and shaped on the beach. Pictures: The Siberian Times


The Siberian Times visited the glistening beach - close to the city of Vladivostok on Russia's Pacific coast - and obtained these eye-catching pictures and videos of the unusual phenomenon.

Our visit came soon after a warning from the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) that the beach will vanish in about 20 years as the vivid glass remains are reduced to sand.

Dr Brovko and his team studied 500 pieces of glass from the black volcanic sand.

The bottles - dumped in the Soviet era - were pummelled and shaped on the beach. These were old wine, vodka and household glass bottles, along with industrial glassware. 

The ten metre stretch closest to the water is packed with the smoothed broken glass, but the colourful relics go far higher up the beach, a popular spot for summer relaxation. 

Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia
A warning from the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) said that the beach might vanish in about 20 years. Pictures: The Siberian Times


'We see that today the share of glass is smaller than it used to be 20 years ago,' Dr Brovko said.

'As for forecasts, it is evident that there is enough glass remaining for one generation - but later it will turn into a regular sand and pebbles bay, like many in Primorsky region.

'Glass pebbles are disappearing because of abrasion - as well as due to people taking glass as souvenirs.'

A huge number of visitors is said to come to the beach each summer, but there is 'low quality' care for the site. 

Dire threat to 'sparkling jewel' beach where nature turned pollution into beauty. Pictures: The Siberian Times

Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia


Glass currently fills 10 to 15 centimetres close to the surface. 

Darya Guseva, director of the travel information centre of Primorsky region, said: 'It is a stunningly beautiful place surrounded by cliffs. We include it in the list of sights recommended for tourists.

'The bay is great for families.' 

Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia


Glass beach Siberia


Comments (1)

SO MANY WHINERS!



The glass isn't "natural" but debris, remnants, refuse.



So people pick up pieces and take them home as souvenirs. Reduce, reuse, recycle.



What, exactly, besides tourism will this affect? Or will it?

NormB, socialist occupied Maryland
29/05/2017 04:30
3
1
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


Features

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR65.96USD58.88GBP75.04Other...