Throughout it’s rich history, the Outer Banks of North Carolina has long been a source of wonder, invention, and innovation.
From the moment that people first took to the skies, to hosting parties for feared pirates; from record “I do’s” to America’s oldest “I don’t know”, here are some of the amazing facts about the Outer Banks you’ve probably never heard.
Feel free to click the image for a higher-resolution version, or scroll down for the text version.
The OBX Fun Facts
- The Outer Banks Is A Giant Sandbar – The OBX is composed of sand and sediment and not actually attached to anything as an island would be.
- It’s Home To America’s Oldest Unsolved Mystery – In 1587 the disappearance of 115 settlers from Roanoake stands as the oldest unsolved mystery in America.
- And The Drama Too! – Introduced in 1937, a play about The Lost Colony still runs to this day – making it the longest-running outdoor symphonic drama.
- In October 1718 Blackbeard Hosted The Largest Ever Pirate Gathering In Ocracoke – It included Israel Hands, Charles Vane, Robert Deal and Jack Rackham.
- But Blackbeard Didn’t Kill His Victims – Pirates didn’t want their victims to fight or damage their ships, so they left them alive.
- The Outer Banks Was Home Of The First Flight – In 1903 the Wright Brothers took flight just outside of Kitty Hawk.
- 100 Wild Horses Run The Beaches Of Corolla – The Corolla Wild Horses are descendants of Spanish War Horses brought over in the 1500’s.
- Home Of The Tallest Brick Lighthouse In The US – The Cape Hatteras Light Station at 198′ high!
- Whalehead Was A Top-Secret Testing Site For Rocket Fuel During The Cold War.
- The First Union Victory Of The Civil War – The first Union Victory of the Civil War took place at the Battle Of Fort Hatteras.
- Home To More Than 500 Sunken Ships – The Graveyard Of The Atlantic holds 500 sunken ships including U-85. Taken down by the treacherous shoals of Cape Hatteras.
- The Outer Banks Is The 3rd Most Popular Wedding Destination In The US – beaten only by Hawaii and Las Vegas.
- It Hosts Over 3,500 Weddings Per Year – The Outer Banks is a well-loved location for folks who are … well-loved. Hosting an estimated 3,500 weddings each year.
- The Outer Banks Played A Pivotal Role In WW2 – The Whalehead Club was used by the Coast Guard who stationed 300 men there, to guard the Outer Banks from Nazi U-boats.
- The Outer Banks Has A Population Of 57,755 – but more than 5 million visitors each year.
- The Fish Are Big. VERY Big! – According to the International Gamefish Association, the Outer Banks and the Virgin Islands are the most likely places to catch Atlantic Blue Marlin weighing more than 1,000 pounds.
- One Of The Top 5 Places To Surf In The US – Making multiple lists, and for good reason!