Hatteras, Cape (hătˈərəs) [key], promontory on Hatteras Island, a low, sandy, barrier bar between the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound, E N.C. Called the Graveyard of the Atlantic, the cape experiences frequent storms that drive ships landward toward its dangerous shallow depths. Cape Hatteras National Seashore (30,319 acres/12,279 hectares; est. 1937), a vast expanse of sand and water, is made up of Hatteras, Bodie, and Ocracoke islands and comprises one of the largest stretches of undeveloped seashore on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (built 1870) was removed in 1936 due to heavy beach erosion. A new lighthouse structure stands farther inland. See National Parks and Monuments, table.
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