A new island has appeared off the coast of North Carolina but people have been warned not to swim there because of the threat of sharks and rip currents.
The sandbar, nicknamed Shelly Island because of its abundance of seashells and pebbles, emerged from the sea in April and has now grown in size to about a mile long and 145 metres wide.
The spit of land cannot be reached on foot and swimmers have been told to stay away because of the potential dangers.
Shelly Island is just off the tip of Cape Point in Buxton and there are sharks and stingrays in the area.
The narrow 15 metre-wide strip of water between the island and the mainland has also formed a “river” that creates a strong rip current, say experts.
Bill Smith, president of the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association, told the Virginian Pilot: “We’re worried about shark bites, but we’re more worried about drownings.”
There could also be hooks from decades of fishing lurking just below the sand.
Cape Point is a constantly changing spit of sand of about 100 acres. Sometimes the tip points south and sometimes it points north.
The land shrinks and expands depending on currents and storms and the same forces were likely to have formed the sandbar, according to experts.
Shelly Island could shrink or even disappear by next year, or it could expand and connect to the point.
Anyone who does want to venture there has been advised to go by boat, kayak or paddleboard as they will be more used to the tides and strong currents.
Chad Koczera was one of the first people to explore the newly-formed island on 31 May.
He told CBS News: “We were driving to the Point after a storm to collect shells when we spotted an area we couldn’t get to by car.”
He then used his drone camera to get a better look at the narrow island and has now posted photos of the sandbar which have gone viral.