As a kid you probably enjoyed making sandcastles on the beach but did you ever think sandcastles could be so big, so elaborate or intricate? Some take it seriously, very seriously. Amateurs, artists and businesses from around the globe compete to win the prestige, prizes and press attention from their sandcastles AKA sand sculptures, the more accurate term for this peculiar endeavour. Even the corporates at companies such as eBay take a good sandcastle seriously, eBay commissioned a monster 75 tonne sand sculpture for their 10th anniversary. These sand sculptures are typically made using river sand, which is a finer material when compared with beach sand and therefore more suited to being sculpted. Unlike your puny childhood attempt at sand castle glory, some of these oversized sandcastles withstand weeks of erosion before disappearing. Here are some of the finest examples of sand sculptures from around the world!
Lifesize Skoda, Sydney
Lifesize Skoda: Who would have thought it? For many long years the humble Skoda bore the brunt of a near-constant stream of contempt and abuse from the western car-owning world. Derided and written off as a poor man’s car (and a poor car for most), Skoda was bought over by Volkswagen in 1991 and like a Czech Phoenix has been transformed into a reliable and respectable brand with sales figures to match. Part of their renewal has been a successful viral marketing campaign, like when Skoda introduced their vehicles to Australia in a manner in which Aussies can relate - a life-sized car on Sydney’s Palm Beach scultped using 60 tonnes of sand. Since then Skoda have gone on to create a replica Fabia cake!
Neptune’s Sandcastle, Virginia Beach
Neptune’s Sandcastle: Neptune’s Sandcastle is the largest sandcastle in the world, which was sculpted for the 2006 Virginia Beach Neptune Festival. This 37ft, 4 storey tall sandcastle easily trumped the previous 32.5ft world record. Neptune’s Castle kept six, skillful, sand sculpters from Team Sandtastic busy moving and shaping over 3,000,000lbs of fine sand until it was completed. Check out the video for a timelapse of how they do it.
Rapunzel’s Castle, Fraser Valley
Rapunzel’s Castle: As the old story of Rapunzel goes, the fair lady was trapped in the tower by an evil witch until her Prince came along. This stunning castle was sculpted for the annual sand sculpting competition at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort in the Fraser Valley of BC Canada.
Boracay Island, Philippines
Boracay Island: Boracay Island in the Philippines is a tropical paradise famed for crystal blue waters, thriving marine life and palm-fringed whiter-than-white sand beaches. Tourists on holiday from Australia and Europe are drawn to Boracay Island for all these reasons and while they are there they might see an intricate shoreline creation such as this one! Castles like this have stiff competition on Boracay. This place seems to be the center of the sand sculpting world!
The Sandcastle Group, Myrtle Beach
The Sandcastle Group: The Sandcastle Group are holders of the World’s Longest Sand Sculpture, which stood at 16.39 miles long on Myrtle Beach, Florida. Reyelt and his team mobilised 8,000 volunteers to help construct it, all of whom are Guinness world record holders. The same poeple who were responsible for this monstrous sand castle recieved Guinness World Records in the past for the 25,000 tonne ‘Blue Beard’s Castle’ in 1985 and the five-storey high Lost City of Atlantis in 1986.
Sandsation: Martin Tulinius created this small piece of paradise on earth back in August 2007 for the fifth annual Sandsation event in Berlin, Germany. And around 100,000 Germans filed through to enjoy some of the best sand sculptures in the world.
Castle to the Sun, Casco
Castle to the Sun: It took 40 dump truck loads to get the 1,000,000lbs of sand needed for the Castle to the Sun sculpture. Project leader Ed Jarrett spent his summer building this colossal 31.5ft tall sandcastle at Camp Sunshine with help from the kids staying at the camp and community volunteers. The sandcastle was to raise funds to benefit the camp for children with life threatening illnesses. You can see a time elapsed series of photos documenting the building process.
Zadanyuk & Varano, Fraser Valley
Zadanyuk & Varano: Winners of the World Championships of Sand Sculpture 2007 at Harrison Hot Springs, BC were sculpting masters Pavel Zadanyuk of Moscow and Richard Varano from Florida. The duo created Beauty and the Beast which won the Gold Medal with 1,951 votes of over 10,000 cast.
Sandology, Byron Beach
Sandology: You could have walked past this beautiful yet modest sandcastle creation and missed its significance. This sandcastle was created by Steve Machell of Sandology in 2005 on Byron Bay beach specifically for a marriage proposal. I wonder if Sarah said yes?
Here’s the Church, Fraser Valley
Here’s the Church: Here’s the Church, a sculpture that garnered 1855 votes to win the Silver Medal also at the World Championships of Sand Sculpture 2007 Harrison Hot Springs. Sculptors Michael Velling of Federal Way, Washington and John Gowdy of Venice, Italy had to settle for second best.