Beaches can be tropical dreamscapes, moody and stormy, or sometimes even look like they just popped out of a surrealism painting. Off the Biloxi coast, the latter is true for this Mississippi island's beaches. Deer Island is a hidden gem you should definitely add to your future exploration list — with an environment as striking as its storied past.

Deer Island is a narrow, four-mile-long strip of land that's sits off the Biloxi coast as a fragment of the mainland. While it doesn’t quite count as a true barrier island, it’s home to many an interesting sight, including some native trees that appear to be melting into the water.

Wlox News reported that once upon a time, the island was almost twice its current size, and has been losing nearly two acres of its beachy coasts each year to erosion.

This erosion of land could have led to the old driftwood being exposed, the previously grounded trees now standing in the shallows with exposed roots looking as though they've melted into the sand.

Restoration efforts by the Coastal Preserve Program have helped to keep the island afloat.

But as the island’s physical roots are exposed to the elements, the stories of its past also find their way to the surface. From hermits and pirates to deaths and ghost stories, this island truly is a surreal place.

Sun Herald details a local legend about a headless skeleton of a long-dead pirate who reportedly haunts the island, including a surreal ‘firewater ball’ that floats across the shoreline.

The Sun Herald also reports that the infamous Hermit of Deer Island, Jean Guilhot, became somewhat of an island icon in the mid-20th century.

The island was also once home to two families, the Aikens and the Bakers, for over 100 years — even witnessing the death of Harriet Aiken who was said to of passed at 100 years old.

While the creep factor may keep you from staying too long, Deer Island's surreal seascape and melty looking trees dotting the beach make it a beautiful place to explore.

Deer Island

Address: Across the Biloxi Channel, Biloxi, MS
30.3716° N, 88.8395° W

Why You Need To Go: Surreal trees, ghost stories, and beautiful views are what you'll find on this hidden Mississippi beach.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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