A massive and mysterious 80-foot structure has been uncovered by the power of both hurricanes Nicole and Ian, major storms that slammed into Florida over the past few months of this year’s hurricane season.
The structure was first spotted on the weekend of thanksgiving during a period of low tide next to Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, a very short walk from “the world’s most famous beach.” This unknown structure pokes out in a pair of lines made up of a series of wood pieces. It was fairly unclear at first what the structure actually was, however, archeologists that took some time to examine it on Tuesday think they may have some sort of answer.
“The erosion is unprecedented at this point,” stated Tammy Malphurs, the Volusia Beach Safety Deputy Chief. “We haven’t seen this kind of erosion in a very long time. I’ve been on the beach probably 25 years that’s the first time I’ve seen it exposed.”
A group of archeologists that were able to investigate the discovery think it could be the remnants of a cargo ship from the 1800s. What remained of the boat was buried five feet down in the sand. The group of researchers thinks the possible merchant ship was making its way along the coast prior to being sunk by a storm front. They state that the remains are very fragile and have strongly advised against tampering with the site. Removing anything at all from the area has been marked as a third-degree felony because it is considered an archeological site, as reported by MFTV9.
“If you have a random, wooden shipwreck on the beach, it’s most likely a wreck from the 1800s and that’s because there were so many more ships sailing in the 1800s than in the centuries before,” explained the Director of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, Chuck Meide, to Click Orlando.
Archeologists for the state are currently planning a series of further investigations surrounding the wood remains in an effort to put an accurate date to the wood, which will include the research of maritime records that could possibly name the ship. Mike Springer, a reporter for WFTV, stated that “due to the materials and construction of the ship and the number of ships sailing off the coast, archeologists believe the 1800s is the most likely era.”
Here are some more photos of the object that’s been unearthed on the beach just south of Frank Rendon Park.
Archeologists are here for their final day unearthing it.
They believe it is a ship. Possibly carrying cargo off the coast of Florida during the 1800’s. pic.twitter.com/SvyfC8CJiw
— Mike Springer (@mspringer32) December 6, 2022
The area around Daytona is known for having hard-packed sand, and quite a few areas even allow vehicles to drive along the beach. Both hurricanes Nicole and Ian took away a few layers of sand from the area. Directly after Nicole, Governor Ron DeSantis revealed a $20 million plan for emergency beach repair to deal with beach erosion and coastal flooding.
“This is obviously not as significant as a storm as Hurricane Ian was, but coming on the heels of that, you’re seeing communities, particularly in the Volusia County area, that had a lot of erosion on the coastline,” stated DeSantis.
Saint Augustine Maritime Archaeologists confirm to me that this is a shipwreck likely from the mid to late 1800s. They believe it was likely a merchant ship. They will be taking timber samples to test to try to determine where the ship was built. @fox35orlando pic.twitter.com/dvl0I8sCrZ
— Dave Puglisi (@DavePuglisiTV) December 6, 2022