Unique and Otherworldly Sand Sculptures Are Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen

matt k sand castle

Photo Credit: Matt Kaliner via The Atlantic

Harvard University lecturer Matthew Kaliner creates incredibly unique and almost otherworldly sand sculptures that are unlike any other sandcastles you’ve ever seen.

Rather than stacking up architectural structures or realistic figures, Kaliner designs surreal, curving compositions of sand. “I am motivated entirely by the sheer joy of playing on the beach, and making something out of what I can find that day,” the artist told The Atlantic.

Instead of mounds and turrets and moats, the structures are drippy archways that twist, jut, climb – and at times, appear suspended in midair, as The Atlantic writes. They certainly appear as if they’re something you’d find on a movie set or a beach in Neverland.

matt k


Kaliner says he’s particularly drawn to building pieces that have a Gothic feel to them, eccentrically protruding from the beach’s flat surface to form intriguing spikes and archways.

While the sand formations look as if they might fall apart at any moment and are just hovering there on their own, Kaliner actually produces them with built-in supports. He explained, “Although I enjoy watching the castles get swept away, I aim to make make my castles more resilient to waves by using sticks, anchored by elaborate braces I dig underground. Watching the castle rising above the waves is a real treat—and that’s always when they look best.”

“Often they simply get eaten up by the rising tides, not knocked down by waves,” he added. “In any case, curious kids are the No. 1 killers of my sandcastles, which I certainly sympathize with—I would have done the same at that age!”