Beach

The next time you spread out your towel on a peaceful stretch of sand and settle in to catch a few rays, think--or try not to think--about this.

A new study that examined sand and seawater from Hawaiian beaches found that the sand has anywhere from 10 to 100 times higher the amount of bacteria than the water--which is basically the opposite of what we usually worry about.

Swimmers are often discouraged from going into the water on days when high levels of fecal-contaminated bacteria are found to be present. But no one really considers that there’s even more bacteria lurking in the sand, which creates a moist, dark environment that helps it thrive. Come into contact with it and you’ll be looking at a stomach bug, rashes or worse.

So what are you supposed to do about it? Here are your options: 1. Only go to beaches on your own private island far, far from civilization. 2. Head to the pool. 3. Forget you ever read this. Happy sunbathing!

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