Hurricane Dorian unearthed plenty of once-buried things along the Outer Banks earlier this month, but Civil War cannonballs aren’t nearly as impressive as what the storm revealed on Cape Hatteras.
A dramatic photo (below) shared by Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Facebook shows what was exposed on one beach where Dorian formed a six-foot escarpment: more than a dozen green sea turtle eggs.
The rare cross-section view shows the eggs as their mama left them, huddled together below the surface, but now teetering on the edge of the sharp cliff.
Before the hurricane, Cape Hatteras officials say they counted 166 “active” turtle nests. More than 75 of those survived the storm intact, and some have even showed signs of successful hatching.
“Despite the impacts associated with Hurricane Dorian, only approximately 15% of all this year's record-breaking 470 nests appear to have been impacted from nest flooding due to overwash,” the park service wrote on Facebook.
Green sea turtles, which are a threatened species in North Carolina, only reproduce once every three to four years. Though each nest contains as many as 200 eggs, it is estimated that only one in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood.