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North Carolina Outer Banks


Known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, the easternmost barrier islands of North Carolina are home to rough seas and shallow-water shoals that have wrecked over 500 ships. One of these shipwrecks is beleived to be the Queen Anne's Revenge, the flagship of Blackbeard the Pirate, who made his home and bearth on the Outer Banks in Beaufort, NC. The Outer Banks of North Carolina are home to the tallest lighthouse in the country, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The Outer Banks was also the site of the first airplane flight when the Wright Brothers first took off from the Outer Banks' sandy shores in 1903.

In addition to its rich cultural history, the Outer Banks also boasts one of the most biologically productive areas along the east coast. Near Cape Hatteras, the warm waters of the Gulf Stream veer from the coast, colliding with the cool, plankton-rich waters of the Labrador Current. The mixing of these waters lifts nutrients to the surface, attracting a diverse and abundant array of marine life. In fact, this area represents the southernmost range for many temperate species, and the northernmost range for many subtropical species. The productive waters support vibrant fishing industry for both commercial fishermen fishing for such items as baitfish, menhaden, blue crabs, and shrimp, and recreational fishermen fishing for fish such as red and black drum, sailfish, and tuna. In addition to numerous species of fish and crustaceans, the area supports large colonies of sea birds, as well as marine mammals such as seals, dolphins and whales. The islands help protect a rich complex of marshes, bays and sounds, which provide nursery and breeding grounds for 95% of all commercially caught fish stocks.



Cultural Importance
Ecological Uniqueness
Economic Importance



Outer Banks on Wikipedia
Outer Banks Beaches
Blackbeard the Pirate
Blackbeard on Wikipedia
Queen Anne’s Revenge Archeology
The Wright Brothers
- Time 100
First Flight



Queen Anne's Revenge




Queen Anne's Revenge Video Clips




Blackbeard: Terror at Sea - A National Geographic Production






Cape Hatteras lighthouse. Photo:NOAA

Baitfish. Photo: NOAA

Blackbeard the Pirate in Beaufort, NC.