The Diamond Shoals.
Where the Labrador Current meets the Gulf Stream in the swirling, shipwreck-laden waters off Cape Hatteras. It’s here that more than 500 ships of many nations, trying to find their way around the Shoals, sank at or near Cape Hatteras, earning for the area the sinister reputation as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”.
The absence of natural landmarks along the Carolina Coast added to the navigator’s risk, as he was drawn dangerously close to shore to get a bearing.
Recognizing the very danger to Atlantic shipping, Congress, in 1794, authorized the construction of a permanent lighthouse at Cape Hatteras.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick beacon in the country standing 208 feet. The familiar black and white spiral-striped landmark serves as a warning to mariners of submerged and shifting sandbars which extend almost twenty miles off Cape Hatteras into the Atlantic Ocean.