Science | June 28, 2017 10:26 am

New Island Suddenly Appears Off North Carolina Coast

The strip of sand emerged out of the Atlantic Ocean, near the Outer Banks, in April.

New Island Appeared off North Carolina
Chad Koczera used a drone to photograph a new island that's formed off North Carolina's Outer Banks. (@chadonka/Instagram)

Just in time for summer, the U.S. has a new island.

Hawkeyed beachgoers spotted a strip of land forming off the coast of North Carolina in April that appeared to come out of nowhere. The new island is close to the popular Outer Banks—but it likely won’t become the next tourist destination.

The crescent-shaped land mass, or hoss, is currently a mile long and stretches across 100 yards at its widest point. Its sand is dotted with whale bones and parts from old shipwrecks, according to National Geographic.

Locals warn visitors of dangerous rip currents around the new island, but even the best swimmers would have company. It’s home to sand tiger sharks and “oceanic manta rays the size of car hoods.”

The area’s hidden shoals and unforgiving currents have earned it the nickname the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” among sailors. In some of the roughest waters off the East Coast, it’s common for the strips of sand to appear and disappear.

However, North Carolina’s newest island is unprecedented. “Every 10 to 15 years we’ll get something that’s pretty dramatic. But this one is the largest one I’ve seen in my lifetime,” a local resident told National Geographic.

Cape Hatteras point and the new sandbar island #capepoint

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