A photographer has captured images of a new island forming off the coast of North Carolina in the US.
Chad Koczera, a 30-year-old aerospace engineer from Connecticut, captured the island from his drone, revealing some stunning views of this new sandbank that seemingly came from nowhere. It’s found just off Cape Point, a stretch of land off the coast of the state. He posted the images on his Instagram account, @chadonka.
“My fiancée and I were driving to the point after a storm to collect shells when we spotted an area we couldn't get to by car,” Koczera told IFLScience. “I sent the drone up to check it out and noticed this beautiful island.”
The photos of the island were taken on May 24, and he noted they hadn’t been back since. “But me and my fiancée go every year,” he said. “We like to return to the point because that's the location I proposed.” Aww.
The island is thought to have first appeared as far back as April, but has since grown in size. Locals have nicknamed it “Shelly Island”, owing to the large number of untouched seashells found on it.
“It was just a little bump in April,” visitor Janice Regan told The Virginian-Pilot, adding that her 11-year-old son had come up with the name for it.
Apparently, it is not that unusual for a landmass like this to emerge. That’s because here, where the southbound Labrador Current hits the warmer Gulf Stream, the rough waters and storms can cause dramatic changes, eroding beaches and bringing new sediment, too. Koczera pictured a storm a day before, on May 24, that he thinks might have been the cause of this island.
An island of this size, though, is quite unusual. It’s estimated at about a mile long and at least three football pitches wide.
There’s a powerful rip current running between Cape Point and the island, meaning getting there is not easy. And even if you make it onto the island, it might not be too idyllic. While there are plenty of seashells there, whale bones and discarded fishing hooks are also sticking out of the ground.
Local officials have warned not to try and swim or walk to it, due to the powerful currents. There may also be a few sharks in the area, so safety is a concern.
It’s not clear how long the island will stay for, especially with the changeable conditions in the area, But it’s pretty neat that this sandbar essentially appeared from nowhere, giving us a brief glimpse before it disappears from view.