Millions of people like to flock to the beach in the summer, taking advantage of the warm weather and splashing in the waves.
But it was not always this way. Up until the 18th century, the beach created fear and anxiety. The coast was thought of as dangerous - it was where shipwrecks and natural disasters occurred. In classical mythology, a prominent theme was the wrath of the ocean. The beach was seen as a place of misfortune, where you found pirates and bandits, the Black Death and smallpox.
MORE IDEAS FROM Inventing the Beach: The Unnatural History of a Natural Place
The modern acceptance of the beach for recreation and retreat came with the rise of the urban, industrial society.
Around the mid-18th century, European elites started to promote the seaside as a place to get fresh air, exercise and sea bathing. Doctors prescribed splashing in the ocean for conditions such as melancholy, rickets, leprosy, gout, impotence, tubercular infections, menstrual problems and hysteria.
The first seaside resort opened in Scarborough on England's eastern shore. Soon other coastal communities followed.
By the 1840s, the beach had a new meaning to Europeans. It became a sought after place of human consumption and an escape from the city.
The rise of trains meant that travel became affordable. Middle-class families came to the shore in their droves. Now the beach meant health and pleasure. Throughout the 1800s, the popularity of the seaside resort made its way across Europe.
Today, one-half of the world's people live within 60 kilometres of an ocean. Figures are expected to rise. About 75 - 90 percent of the world's natural sand beaches are disappearing due to rising sea levels and massive erosion caused by human development.
Coasts are highly vulnerable habitats and perhaps one that might soon disappear.
Europe's 19th-century beaches started to change as societies took to them. It meant the end of ordinary life in a traditional fishing community.
It happened in phases: Where the seashore was first a source of food and where journeys began and ended, it became a sight of amusement and recreation. The beach was popularised as a non-place and an escape from modernity. But the consequences for the environment have been disastrous.
Our body's proximity to water – large flowing rivers and the coastal regions, has been associated with positive effects on our health and wellbeing.
Just like being in nature is good for health, being near water is shown to be beneficial for the body and mind.
Sea-level rise and eventual flooding is a growing possibility that has been written in many ancient books and stories.
The Noah’s Ark, the Sumerian flood, or the ancient Hindu story of Manu and Matsya depicted an Apocalyptic water crisis thousands of years ago and had a common theme: The Wrath Of God.
When decorating your house, you might consider the transitional design if you find both traditional and modern designs not suitable for you. Better go with the mix of the two. Accessories are kept to the minimum, while the furniture and the textiles have the central role.
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