For some people, a trip to the beach means enjoying the ocean, walking along the shore, or perhaps trying their hand at making a sandcastle. However, certain artists like Andoni Bastarrika take this carefree activity to a whole new level—transforming wet sand into incredible, three-dimensional works of art. Bastarrika's series of mind-boggling, realistic animal sculptures look as though they have “washed up” on the beach.
The gifted artist uses the local Basque beaches in northern Spain as the canvas for his land art. He finds an elevated cement platform that overlooks the coast and begins depositing buckets of sand there. Then, the self-taught artist molds the wet materials by hand and sometimes with sticks until he is satisfied with the subject's realism. To enhance the final product, Bastarrika will often use found objects as embellishments. The life-size sand sculpture of a bull, for example, uses real horns on its head and rocks as its hooves. At first glance, the animal looks startlingly real–as though it was merely taking a nap by the ocean.
Other favorite sand sculptures include a horse, a great white shark, a toothy alligator, a rhino, and even an elephant. The Spanish artist has also done a series of different dog breeds sleeping on the beach. Bastarrika posts photos of the completed projects on his Instagram—where he can often be seen posing playfully beside his amazing creations.
Scroll down to see more realistic sand sculptures by Bastarrika, and follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest creations.