If you haven’t recently seen all over news outlets on the internet, a new beach has popped up off of the Outer Banks coast! A new sand island has formed off the coast. First noticed in April, this mile long sand bar has gotten bigger over time. It’s been described as “the mother of all sandbars,” by County Commissioner Danny Couch. The island was named by 11-year-old Caleb Regan. Caleb visited the island with his father over Memorial Day weekend. They discovered scattered shells all over the island, and Shelly Island seemed like a fitting name.

Shelly Island // Image via CBS News courtesy of @chadonka on Instagram

Sharks off of Shelly Island // Image via Coastal Helicopters, LLC 

Although Shelly Island is a unique addition to our awesome island, it’s best to look at from a distance if you’re not experienced in the water. Seeing the island up high from a helicopter or airplane tour (check out OBX Biplanes or  Barrier Island Aviation) is a great way to see it. If you do decide to adventure out to the island, it’s best to tackled by experienced kayakers or paddle boarders, but definitely DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SWIM. While the waters are shallow that connect Oregon Inlet, rip currents are a major threat and the shallow waters are home to dozens of sharks. We don’t know how long Shelly Island will be around for, (it could disappear just as fast as it appeared) but you should definitely take the opportunity to get a view of this anomaly this summer!