It is human nature to seek out bodies of water.
In fact, maps of the world’s population show that the bulk of humanity today lives near water.
We live along coastlines, around the rims of bays, up the course of rivers and streams, and on islands. We also vacation at the beach and find solace fishing on a lake.
Nothing makes small children happier than the chance to splash through puddles. More surprising, this human penchant for water makes evolutionary sense. Sure, we need drinking water to live, but we have also benefited from what’s swimming under the waves.
Here are some of the Best Places to hit the beach.
Gold Coast, Australia
Bora Bora, Tahiti
Neuroscientist Michael Crawford of the University of North London has proposed that our ancient ancestors were devotees of the sea, and that their devotion paid off by allowing the human species to develop large and complex brains.
Crawford claims that when humans separated from apes and emerged from the forests of Africa, they stuck close to rivers and beaches and started feasting on fish, clams and crabs.
That marine diet was packed with omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids that promote brain cell growth. It’s no coincidence, Crawford claims, that human brain growth began to increase exponentially once we left the woods and headed for the beach.