5 Shoina, the Village Buried in Sand Where People Still Live

Shoina, the Village Buried in Sand Where People Still Live

Posted on April 2, 2014 by tim

Street scene Aug. 2005

Shoina is a village on the coast of the White Sea. Houses in Shoina are being covered with white sand which comes from the beach. When it was built in the 1930s, the land was covered with forest and moss. Then, in the 1950s, the sand started coming in. At first, the three houses of the lighthouse keepers were covered. Sometimes a building could be covered with sand as quickly as overnight. As a local, Natasha, said “one night we were just able to take the last things out of our old house and then the wind started blowing again, and the roof of our old house got covered with sand, like it was waiting for us to take the last of our belongings out. We were trying to save the motorcycle, and we didn’t know if we would be able to get out”.


Street scene Aug. 2005

As local meteorologist, Natasha says, she uses her attic to enter her house now. She cut a manhole in the roof and has put up a ladder to climb into the house. “It’s very comfortable”, Natasha says “you get out right on the ground and go wherever you want”.

Street scene Aug. 2005


As Natasha says, some of her neighbors’ houses are already under the sand. She says that some of them were already covered by sand when she was still in school. However, she notes that “it got faster during 80s, when all this Perestroika happened”. And in the nineties in the new country, after the USSR collapse, the boats stopped arriving at Shoina village, salaries were delayed for months, and the only local store was out of food.

“And the dunes started approaching really quick. Like they felt it.”, recalls the woman.

“Like it all goes to nowhere”, says Natasha, crying.


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5 Responses to “Shoina, the Village Buried in Sand Where People Still Live”

  1. Jason P says:

    Very interesting. They seem to have a lot of scrap metal around there. They should scrap it all and build a wall of some sort to stop the sand from moving in.

    How windy is it over there?

  2. George says:

    Th damaged the grass lands somehow. Kinda like America’s “Dust Bowl” Desertification.

  3. aferrismoon says:

    It’s like KIN DZA DZA


  4. Lumpy Gravy says:

    A while back RT had an interesting documentary about Shoina …


  5. OldBikr says:

    Plant dune grasses and anchor the sand. this is done in North Carolina to protect the beaches from wind erosion.

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