For the most part, sand is not made of cells. That being said, there could be cells in sand.
Let us explain.
Is Sand Made Of Cells? Why Or Why Not?
What Is Sand?
To understand the somewhat vague answer in the introduction, let’s first talk about what sand is.
It is made up of multiple substances.
These substances are not chemically, ionically, or any other way, stuck to each other.
And the substances that make up sand differ from place to place.
In fact, when we talk about “sand” we are usually referring to the size of the particle rather than the type of material the sand is made of.
If the particle is large enough, we might call it gravel.
If the particle is small enough, we might call it dust or silt.
In general, sand is composed of tiny particles of rocks and minerals, worn away from larger pieces over time by the forces of wind and water.
While sand can vary, we often see sand made up of particles of silica, feldspar, granite, basalt, mica, limestone, and clay.
There’s tiny pieces of shells and coral in there too.
Some of these materials are minerals, while others are classified as rocks.
Sand may also contain organic materials, such as bone, decaying plant matter, bacteria, and other living organisms.
What Are Cells?
When reading about cells, you often see cells called “the smallest building block of life” or something similar. (example)
This implies (incorrectly) that there is nothing smaller than a cell, and that the cell is the most basic building block of all things.
While it is true that cells are the smallest building block of a living thing, cells can be broken down and stripped apart into more simpler parts, structures, chemicals, compounds, and even elements.
The cell might be the smallest “living” thing, as structures, chemicals, compounds, and elements are not alive, and they don’t live.
But cells do not make up everything on the Earth, not even close.
Are Rocks And Minerals Composed Of Cells?
No, rocks and minerals are not made up of cells.
Instead, they are composed of elements, molecules, and compounds.
These building blocks are sometimes bonded to each other, and in other cases, they are not.
As discussed above, elements, molecules, and compounds are also the building blocks of cells.
The cells that you observe in a microscope, that make up your skin, hair, the flowers in your yard, these cellular structures are made up first of elements, molecules and compounds.
You cannot see those elements, molecules, and compounds with the average microscope.
The form the cell first, and then the cells form the skin, hair, and plants.
But in rocks and minerals, these building blocks do not form cells first before forming the rock or mineral.
Is Sand Made Of Cells?
For the most part, sand is made up of ground up particles of rocks and minerals.
As ground up particles of rocks and minerals are not made up of cells, it logically follows that sand is not made up of cells.
Does Sand Contain Cells? Can It?
Yes, sand often contains cells.
The thing about sand is that it is rarely pure.
It is usually a mix of many kinds of rocks and minerals.
And in many cases, there is organic matter mixed in, in the form of formerly living matter (like bone).
Much of this organic matter is made up of cells (like bone).
Sand also contains bacteria (single cells), bugs (made of up cells), and other decaying plant matter (also made of cells).
Thus, we wouldn’t say that sand is made up of cells, because it really isn’t.
But sand often contains impurities, and those impurities can be and are often made up of cells.
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