Porthleven beach in Cornwall was stripped of its sand overnight on Wednesday by a freak high tide.
In its place was nothing but rocks, seaweed and algae.
The beach town is a popular tourist spot and is famed for its two miles of beaches sitting below the quaint seaside town.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, oceanographer Alan Jorgensen, from Porthleven, said he has never seen the level of sand so low in all his years living in the village.
He said: "I am sure it will come back in time but I've never seen it like this before. It was a bit of a surprise to be honest."
And Councillor Andrew Wallis told the Daily Telegraph: "The beach has never had this little sand in living memory.
"This area is quite prone to long shire drift and sometimes it is more extreme than others. This time was definitely on the more extreme side."
However, just as locals started getting used to it as a rocky beach, the golden sands were then deposited back again.
Mr Wallis confirmed the sand was returned "completely naturally" by Mother Nature, not by the council.
According to a tourist website, Porthleven "exudes Cornish charm and tradition". It adds: "Set in the middle of a huge sweeping bay, the beach at Porthleven is ideal for a relaxing family holiday. Porthleven has arguably the most impressive harbour in Cornwall."
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