Unusual Sightings at Benar Beach, Gwynedd, N. Wales

Just before Christmas, Judith and I were slightly alarmed to hear a whirring noise outside the house. We looked out of the kitchen window and saw not one, but two, powered paragliders (or paramotorists) flying up and down and then across the estuary. This was a first in nearly 4 months of living here.

It turned out to be a nice day, so we did our usual thing and went for a walk along Benar beach (which is about 9.5 miles or 15km further down the coast). And, hey presto, another came whizzing along! At least this time I had my camera ready. 😊

As we walked along, Judith spotted some small lumps or bubbles emerging from the sand. Neither of us had ever seen anything like it before and I’d be interested to know if anyone else has….(?) They were filled with air because, as soon as you touched the top of them, they deflated. But how on earth they were formed, given that we’re talking, albeit wet, sand here, I don’t think I’ll ever know.

They only appeared, near to the sea, over a stretch of no more than 30 yards (of a very long beach) and, as you can see from the pics below, there were quite a few of them. Their size varied from maybe an inch or 2cm across, up to 8 inches or 20 cm. Very strange (and we’ve not seen any since)!

10 thoughts on “Unusual Sightings at Benar Beach, Gwynedd, N. Wales

    • Many thanks for that link Rudi. It does seem quite logical now that it’s been explained, but I wonder why I’ve never seen it before. (I’ll have to look more often!) We used to get a lot of (non-motorised) paragliders, or parascenders as we called them, when we lived in Switzerland. Obviously a lot more and bigger mountains to take off from there – as in Austria. I did a tandem ride once from just above Montreux and flew out over Lac Léman. Strangely it seemed a lot scarier when you looked down over the water rather than the land!


  1. Amazing what you can find on Uncle Google……Water rising with the tide below the surface of the beach forces air up through the sand which, when it cannot escape rapidly enough, causes bubbles to form within the uppermost sand layers. Our name for this phenomenon is bubbly sand.

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