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'The Eastern Section of the Great Vasyugan Mire has been nominated for the Unesco World Heritage List'

Glass Beach: where nature has turned pollution into beauty

By Olga Gertcyk
30 January 2017

Waves on Russia's Pacific shoreline crafted old bottles, porcelain and tiles into a sparkling tourist attraction.

Nature has correct man's mistake, and stamped its own imprint. Picture: Anna Pozharskaya

On a sunny day, the beach on Ussuri Bay - in Primorsky region - seems to be covered with lighted candles. In the past, it was used as a dump for truckloads of unwanted glass bottles and waste from a local porcelain factory, or so the story goes. 

But nature has correct man's mistake, and stamped its own imprint.


Glass Bay

Glass Bay

Glass Bay

Glass Bay

In the past, it was used as a dump for truckloads of unwanted glass bottles and waste from a local porcelain factory, or so the story goes. Pictures: The Siberian Times, Anna Pozharskaya, @ula1673, grunja.blogspot

Years of erosion has broken, then rounded and polished the glass, giving the beach a distinctive quality, to the extent that people pay a small fee to come here and enjoy the sight. 

Tourists are amazed by shining shore, clean water and splendid view on the Ussuri Bay. Known in Russian as Steklyashka, the beach is perhaps at its most stunning in winter when the snow highlights the vivid colours of the glass. 

Glass Bay

Glass Bay

Glass Bay

Glass Bay

Tourists are amazed by shining shore, clean water and splendid view on the Ussuri Bay. Pictures: @yuliya_savkina, RGO, @dumbrava_regina

The summer the colours on the kaleidoscope  mosaic gleam against the black volcanic sand. 

The backdrop is also stunning: the bay is surrounded by impressive cliffs, making a stunning contrast to the bustle of nearby city Vladivostok, just 30 minutes drive away. 

Comments (20)

I love seagrass and agree glass is so much better than plastic when it's used up.
Rosemary, West Haven, CT USA
29/05/2020 20:52
Connie, Australia
22/11/2019 16:47
I would rather see sea glass broken down in our oceans that the much more harmful bits and pieces of plastics which end up inside too many sea creatures nowadays. Even with worldwide recycling efforts, plastics are polluting our oceans and waterways, even after they degrade into microscopic particles. Thoughts?
Chris, New Canaan, CT USA
09/04/2019 20:54
If you think about it we mine the minerals from the earth heat them up and make glass. The sea just rolls them around and makes beautiful stones. Its not garbage that pollutes the earth. Just beautiful stones.
Looney Tunes, Irving, NY
27/10/2017 18:15
My understanding is that you are now NOT ALLOWED to remove the this true?
Hazel Richard McGrath, Nova Scotia Canada
25/10/2017 23:09
Environmental pollution as beautiful to describe is terrible. The more enthusiastic about it, the more likely it will be in the future. People are so stupid.
René, Brunswick, Germany
17/10/2017 03:16
Oh my goodness. Great pictures, wish I could come play there! If someone wants to ship me some beautiful glass I'll pay the postage for sure. :)
Lucinda Bender, Newark, CA USA
16/09/2017 10:43
@Sandy Martin...Just like the water eroding the edges of the glass, I hope that you can find a way to let the grief go yet hold onto the memories. The beauty remains behind.
Sid Finster, British Columbia Canada
17/02/2017 15:39
This is an exotic play. Looks coooooll :D
Jacob Chalk, Conway Arkansas
03/02/2017 23:43
Hey Chris, Mason
Jackson Hutchins, Conway,Arkansas
03/02/2017 23:42
i think this is great i love the rocks
Batman, Gotham
03/02/2017 23:41
That's cooooooooool!!!
Blain Parks, Conway, AR
03/02/2017 21:15
i think that this site is so beutiful just to be from a dump site

i would load a full truck of these and take them home
dakota ryman, Conway ar
03/02/2017 20:22
I love it, such a special place a d I would love to visit.
Heather Kimura, Santa Cruz / USA
03/02/2017 11:04
Back in the 90's in my previous life as a surfer my surf bunny casting director surfer world traveler coolest chick in the world (may she RIP) and I used to go to Kauai to surf several times a year...we discovered a place called Glass Beach...incredible...dump for the whole island for about 120 years...seal glass everywhere,,,every color,every hue...we used to bring home about 20 pounds each trip..I am not exaggerating when I say the glass was 6 feet deep in spots...I still have about 60 pounds of tumbled sea glass on display at home in Oregon..use it for so many creative projects..I miss that beautiful beach and the fun we had collection sea glass but I miss my beautiful wife much more...we had great times in those days and sea glass was a part of it...jes sayin'
Sandy Martin, Albany Oregon
01/02/2017 10:25

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