North Carolina’s Outer Banks is one of the most unique places in the world, containing some of the most dramatic barrier islands and most dangerous shoals and currents on Earth.
The area is often referred to as the Graveyard of the Atlantic because these waters have entombed thousands of vessels and countless mariners who lost a desperate struggle against the forces of war, piracy, and nature.
On New Year’s Eve, 1862, the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor met its end, sinking to the bottom of the sea. Today, this historic wreck is protected by our nation’s first national marine sanctuary – Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.
(Top photo: Peter Flood; bottom photo and 3D rendering: NOAA)