Curiosity-seekers have come to dig their feet into the sands at North Carolina’s newest beach.
Shelly Island, the newest addition to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, has become a popular topic of conversation nationwide. The island formed sometime in the spring off the tip of Cape Point on Hatteras Island, according to the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.
ABC’s Good Morning America featured the island with Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist at ABC, reporting from the sandbar. Zee spotted 15 sharks while taking a boat out to Shelly.
The island is reportedly attracting anglers, photographers, and seashell collectors, among other visitors. Rumors of a bounty of beautiful sea shells are why it’s unofficially known as Shelly Island.
But it comes with some dangers beyond reported shark and stingray sightings.
So many people have been rescued from the newly formed island that state officials have issued warnings against trying to swim or wade to it across the 50-yard channel. Officials are urging visitors to use kayaks or paddle boards.
Experts say the island is surrounded by strong currents, which swimmers don’t realize until after they’re too far out to swim back. Sharks are also an obstacle, with multiple sightings of manta rays the size of car hoods.
Experts say the island will almost certainly be wiped out within the year, reported National Geographic.