Source: Charlotte Observer

Off the coast of Cape Hatteras, a fishing vessel sits trapped on a sandbar. Over time, the sight attracted numerous photographers and the posts on social media raised eyebrows. It seemed as if the boat was sinking into the earth, the Charlotte Observer reports.

A form of quicksand is to blame. 

Mike Barber explained the phenomenon to McClatchy via email. He serves as spokesman of Cape Hatteras.

“The vessel appears to be getting lower and lower in the beach because each tide brings in water which makes the sand soft and malleable. Thus the boat sinks into the sand a little each day. Northeast winds helped carry the vessel ashore,” Barber told the paper.

Ships sinking into sand is not a new occurrence. According to Barber, there’s about a century’s worth of former vessels that resurface on occasion, depending on water levels.

The coast of North Carolina is known as “the Graveyard of the Atlantic,” the Charlotte Observer reports. There are more than 2,000 recorded shipwrecks in the area. 

Read more about this slowly sinking ship from the Charlotte Observer.