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New Island in North Carolina Emerges From Ocean

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By    |   Friday, 30 Jun 2017 09:42 AM

A new island has formed off the North Carolina coast, emerging from the ocean along Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The mile-long sandbar, nicknamed Shelly Island, is covered with seashells and multicolored pebbles that have been building since the late spring, according to CBS News. The new island has already become a buzz for tourists.

"The thing about the Outer Banks — they are pretty dynamic," Reide Corbett, a professor at East Carolina University's Department of Geological Sciences, told CBS News. "(The island) is kind of neat and interesting and provides new piece of land for people to explore, but it is a dynamic environment. I wasn't surprised to see it, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it disappear."

Dave Hallac, superintendent of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, told National Public Radio that the island had been gradually appearing and was visible via aerial photography in February when it was still underwater.

"The island is sort of a semicircle," Hallac told NPR. "It's just south of a very popular location at Cape Hatteras National Seashore called Cape Point. And Cape Point is often referred to as the old faithful of Cape Hatteras National Seashore."

"It's a very, very popular location. It's a little spit that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. And it's also in a location that is right next to the confluence of the Labrador and Gulf Stream currents. It's an amazing spot," Hallac continued.

While anglers, shell collectors, photographers, and others have all taken a liking to the island, getting to it is not without its own peril, officials told the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. The newspaper said the Atlantic Ocean breaks one way on the east shore of the point and in the opposite direction on the southern shore.

The Virginian-Pilot stated that a flow as powerful as a rip current and about 50 yards wide rushes between the point of the new island, and Hallac warned that people should not try to walk or swim across in that current to reach it.

Bill Smith, president of the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association, told the Virginian-Pilot that sharks up to five feet long and stingrays as large as the hood of a truck have been spotted prowling beneath the surface of the new island as well.

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A new island has formed off the North Carolina coast, emerging from the ocean along Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
new, island, north carolina, ocean
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2017-42-30
Friday, 30 Jun 2017 09:42 AM
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