Guarapari is a coastal town of Espírito Santo, Brazil, a popular tourist destination. Its beach is famous for the high radioactivity level of its sand.LocationGuarapari is a part of Greater Vitoria, 47 km south of the state capital Vitória. Its population is 116,278 (2013) and its area is 592 km². It is a well-known tourist destination, known for its curving white sand beaches backed by commercial development. With its heavily built-up coastline like Vila Velha and Vitória, it caters heavily to seasonal tourists, and consequently has quite a dramatic seasonal population fluctuation.The municipality contains the Concha D'Ostra Sustainable Development Reserve, established in 2003 to protect the mangroves of the Bay of Guarapari. It also contains the Paulo César Vinha State Park, which protects an area of dunes, lagoons and marshes along the Atlantic shore. Formerly called the Setiba nature reserve, it is a pristine example of a coastal ecosystem and important for local turtle and bird populations.HistoryThe municipality has had European presence since 1585 when Jesuit missionaries built a small chapel and dug a well.RadioactivityAlong a roughly 500-mile portion of Brazil's Atlantic coast that runs from north of Rio de Janeiro up to the region south of Bahia, the sands of old beaches are naturally radioactive. Sea waves pound coastal mountains rich in monazite, a phosphate of rare earth metals containing uranium and thorium. The background radiation level on some spots on the Guarapari beach read 175 mSv per year (20μSv/h); Some other spots reach 55 μSv/h, while some even reach 131 μSv/h.
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