Best place to find it: Nags Head, Outer Banks, North Carolina
Why here: Wide expanses of beach, such as those along North Carolina’s barrier islands, are prone to intense lightning strikes, which melt the quartz in the sand into thin tubular or amoeba-like shapes also called fulgurites.
Don’t miss: Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the tallest natural sand dune on the East Coast, is a good spot for finding fulgurites. Don’t remove any specimens you find on state property, though: The park is a protected natural area. You can also visit the park museum to see fulgurites on display. For more information call 252/441-7132, or visit jockeysridgestatepark.com.