Hyams Beach in Hyams Beach, Australia

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Hyams Beach at Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

The soft, fine sand blanketing this beach is extraordinarily white. On particularly sunny days, it reflects light so brightly you basically need sunglasses to look at the ground.

The milky sand beneath the shallow water also makes the ocean look breathtakingly aqua. The whole beach feels like a dreamy sliver of paradise, conveniently located a couple hours’ drive from Sydney.

Media around the world have reported that Guinness World Records lists Hyams Beach as having the whitest sand in the world. But as it turns out, Guinness World Records doesn’t even have a whitest beach category.

It’s believed the whole myth started after the sleepy seaside town’s general store put up a sign saying its beaches had the whitest sand. Then, as so often happens with rumors, things spiraled out of control. Now, a quick Google search turns up article after article touting the beach’s supposed Guinness World Records claim to fame.