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North Carolina Lighthouses

The coast of the U.S. state of North Carolina is a chain of sandy barrier islands, called banks, enclosing shallow lagoons called sounds. From Cape Lookout northward the banks are widely separated from the mainland and are called the Outer Banks. The state's three great capes, Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, and Cape Fear, extend underwater as dangerous shoals, and the area around Cape Hatteras has earned its name as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Several of America's tallest and best known lighthouses were built to warn ships away from this dangerous coast.