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    Another thing that makes Manchester-by-the-Sea famous? Its singing sand.

    People run along Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea.
    Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
    People run along Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea.

    “Manchester by the Sea” might leave you feeling gutted. The movie is beautifully acted and shot, which explains the six Oscar nominations, but also devastatingly sad. The gloominess of it can stay with you for a few days.

    But the actual Manchester-by-the-Sea, the North Shore town, is much more uplifting.

    For one, it’s home to Singing Beach, which is a favorite spot for a few reasons, including that you can get there by public transportation. But also because it is one of only a handful of beaches along North America’s Atlantic coast that has what is referred to as singing sand, because of the noise it makes when you walk on it.


    The special sand earned the beach a spot on the website Atlas Obscura, which highlights the world’s wondrous and curious places. (Atlas Obscura is also now a best-selling travel book.)

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    The site’s entry on Singing Beach says, “This phenomena is not able to be fully scientifically explained, but some believe that the sound is produced by shear, in which the surface of one sand grain rubs against the layer beneath it. The process is very delicate, as even the smallest amounts of pollution, dust, or organic matter on the sand can reduce friction enough to quell the sound. The best part of the beach for hearing singing sand is on the dry side above normal high tide lines.”

    The beach is also very beautiful and very popular, and possibly even more so after Sunday’s awards show.

    Chris Morris can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @morrisglobe