For years, beachgoers at Daytona Beach Shores in Volusia County, Florida, have unknowingly been walking over a piece of history.
Under the sands south of Frank Rendon Park, a wooden object has been uncovered after decades spent buried along the Atlantic shore, with pieces unearthed due to erosion caused by hurricanes Ian and Nicole that struck the Sunshine State this year. Officials in Volusia County said Nicole especially eroded the beaches enough for the object to be seen.
"This erosion is unprecedented at this point," Volusia Beach Safety Deputy Chief Tammy Malphurs told WKMG-TV. "I've been on the beach probably 25 years, and that's the first time I've seen it exposed."
Archaeologists in Florida visited the beach this week to examine the historical structure and determined that the protruding pieces are likely from a shipwreck in the 1800s that is more than 80 feet long, according to SKYFOX. It is unclear exactly when the shipwreck occurred, why the ship ran aground or the name of the vessel.
An areal view of the shipwreck uncovered near Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo/Tamra Malphurs)
The first indication that a large object was buried under the sand appeared during low tide a couple of weeks ago in the wake of Nicole, and since then, more and more of the shipwreck has emerged.
Work is underway to uncover some remnants of the ship, believed to be a merchant seafaring vessel. However, the ship is in a delicate state and will not be completely dug up and removed, NPR reported.
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State Emergency Management crews are currently working to build a system to protect the local dunes. According to The New York Times, the object cannot be roped off due to water submerging it during high tide.
The shipwreck is the latest artifact to be unearthed along Florida's coast. In November, a treasure hunter found a diamond ring worth $40,000 in St. Augustine. Joseph Cook, who found the ring, decided not to sell the jewelry and instead tracked down the owner. Miraculously, Cook found the ring's owner through social media and returned it during a touching moment.
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