Beach lovers in the Outer Banks of North Carolina got a surprise treat this season when a new island surfaced at the tip of surfing and fishing hotspot Cape Point. According to the Virginian-Pilot, an 11-year-old boy dubbed it "Shelly Island" for the abundance of seashells found in the sand, while his grandmother described the new formation as “just a little bump” in April. The "little bump" now stretches a mile long and “three football fields wide,” and the newspaper reports that OBX’s ever-shifting coast means the new island could either disappear or grow even bigger by next year depending on storms and currents.
But local experts warn that getting to the island can be dangerous and that beach-goers should not attempt to walk or swim there because of unsafe rip currents. In fact, the News & Observer of Raleigh reports that such currents have claimed the lives of four people off the North Carolina coast since June 10. Other concerns include old fishing hooks lurking below the sand and sea creatures surrounding the new formation, including five-foot long sharks and enormous sting rays. “We’re worried about shark bites,” says North Carolina Beach Buggy Association president Bill Smith, “but we’re more worried about drownings.” (Another Outer Banks beach ranked third in 2017’s best list).