Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is significant as an important aid to the navigation of the Atlantic Coast. The Diamond Shoals which extend up to ten miles out from Cape Hatteras, coupled with the Gulf Stream currents, earned this area its reputation as the "graveyard of the Atlantic." A lighthouse was first established here in 1803, heightened in 1853. It was replaced with the current lighthouse in 1869-70. The current light tower, painted with black and white spirals for recognition during the day, is the tallest brick light tower in the United States.
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