Collectible Seashells Piling Up During Tourism Ban

Banning tourists from the Outer Banks during the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in treasured seashells piling up on the beaches, a National Park Service video shows.

Cape Lookout National Seashore posted the “postcard from the beach” video Monday on Facebook, and it reveals wind and waves have spread shells thick across the beaches like gravel.

Such treasures are normally snapped up by families on spring break, but North Carolina’s coastal counties have banned non-residents from the barrier islands, using road blocks and license checks in Dare County.

More than 5,000 people have viewed the park’s video since Monday, and collectors have erupted at the sight of all the prized shells going ignored.

Some commenters speculated the shells could be piled “about a foot high” by the time tourists are allowed to return. Others are asking the National Park Service for beach closeups and even a beach web cam.

“Hurting my heart,” Kimberly Rubio wrote on the park’s Facebook page.

“The wind, the waves, BUT………THE SHELLS!” Marla Brown posted. “That was just plain MEAN to tease us with THE SHELLS!!! When we can do NOTHING about them.”

“I can’t believe all those shells!” Laura Dixon wrote.