Sea Glass / Beach Glass

Have you ever heard of sea glass? Sometimes known as “beach glass,” “mermaid’s tears,” or “sea pearls,” sea glass has a beautiful, frosted look. But where does it come from?


Fun Facts

  • Sea glass is glass that’s been dropped in the ocean. It often comes from soda bottles, but it might come from old dishes, windshields, or other household items.
  • Over time – usually five to 50 years – the salt in ocean water, as well as the action of the waves, smooths out the rough edges of broken pieces of glass. They become smooth and rounded. They also take on an etched look.
  • Sea glass has become prized for its beauty. People collect it as a hobby. Some artists use it to make jewelry or sculptures.
  • The most common colors of sea glass are clear, brown, green, and blue. Rarer to find colors include turquoise, yellow, and pink.
  • Sea glass isn’t as common as it once was. More people recycle glass – instead of throwing it in the ocean. And, many objects that were once made from glass are now made from plastic.
  • Sea glass can be found all over the world, but it’s common along the coasts of England and New England, as well as California. You can also find sea glass along the beaches of the Great Lakes, although this glass looks different than glass that’s been tossed about in an ocean.



  1. Etched: a frosty, translucent surface
  2. Prized: valuable and desired


Questions and Answers

Question:  Does the ocean recycle any other man made materials?

Answer: In general, trash dumped in the ocean causes more damage than good. Plastic materials, in particular, take hundreds of years to decompose and can cause harm to fish and marine animals. This is why it’s so important to dispose of litter properly and recycle glass, paper, and plastic.


Learn More

Read more about sea glass.