Let's Fact-Check All That Cross Of Santo Domingo Business On Outer Banks

Was it real or made up for the show?

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The second season of Outer Banks is officially here, and with it comes even more questions than answers. After devouring all 10 episodes after the July 30 release, you probably have some major theories regarding the fates of the Pogues as well as the treasure they’re hunting. While the gold is still a whole thing, the bigger mystery of Season 2 lies within a religious relic. You probably want to know how much money you could get should you stumble across it, but the more important question is whether or not Outer Banks’ Cross of Santo Domingo is actually real. The answer, TBH, is kinda murky.

Warning: Spoilers for Season 2 of Outer Banks follow. To recap, John B. (Chase Stokes) and Sarah (Madelyn Cline) fled the Outer Banks after he was framed for the death of Sheriff Peterkin by Sarah’s dad, Ward Cameron (Charles Esten). After running around the Bahamas for a bit, the couple ended up in Charleston, where they bumped into JJ (Rudy Pankow), Kiara (Madison Bailey), and Pope (Jonathan Daviss). The latter group of Pogues had just learned about a mythical key Pope’s family was rumored to be in possession of, a key that had once belonged to Denmark Tanney.

If you recall, Tanney was a free Black man in times of slavery, who became rich after surviving the Royal Merchant shipwreck and inheriting all the gold that was onboard. In Season 1, the Pogues used Tanney’s journal to locate the gold, which Ward promptly stole. But it turns out, the gold was just part of the treasure. Tanney was also in possession of the Cross of Santo Domingo, which held a very powerful, very historic relic.


According to Tanney’s journal, the cross was supposed to contain “the garment of the savior,” which was “the most holy relic.” Apparently, the garment was “capable of healing the sick from any malady.” While all of the Pogues looked confused upon reading this, JJ quoted the Christian bible, saying, “If only I may touch his garment, I shall be made well,” (before mentioning he went to Sunday school growing up). This means the key that belonged to Pope’s family unlocked the cross which held the garment.

So, is any of this real? Sort of! Just like how there’s some truth to the Royal Merchant gold, there’s some to the Cross of Santo Domingo as well — or at least, the contents of the cross. While the cross is fictional, the “garment of the savior” really is mentioned in the bible. According to the New Testament, “as many [ill who] touched it were made well.” Whether the garment is something that really exists to this day is unclear, but it is definitely a thing from literature.

Outer Banks Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

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