Society

Great Dune of Pyla in France Eating Away at Forest and Houses

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A large sand dune in Southwest France is threatening a forest and houses as it continues to grow larger, looking as if it belongs in the Sahara desert.

The Great Dune of Pyla is the largest sand dune in Europe. It sits on the west coast of France on the Atlantic coast in La Teste-de-Buch. It is 3km long, 500m wide, 100m high, and consists of 60 million cubic meters of sand.

The forrest nearby is not a deterrent for the dune, as it swallows up anything in its path. 

It is due to the westerly Atlantic winds, which blows the sand at a rate of five meters a year.

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Experts believe the dune has doubled in size in the last hundred years, but has been growing for centuries.

There have been cases of the dune swallowing up houses, as can bee seen in a Bordeaux family who built a villa on the edge of the dune in 1928. Two years later, the dune started growing into their house, and by 1936 the house was no where to be seen.

Because the dune is unexpected and beautiful, it has become a popular tourist destination that attracts millions of visitors a year.

It is not known how long the dune has been around, but recent analysis of a hard, coal-like substance on the shore reveals that there was once a forest there. This means the dune has likely been around for many centuries.

Sources: Daily Mail, Amusing Planet