Hurricanes Reveal Mysterious Structure On Florida Beach, Sparking Theories

Theories as to its origin range from a shipwreck to the remains of seating for NASCAR spectators.


Tom Hale


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

Mysterious wooden structure emerges along a beach in Florida.

It's the first time this structure has been seen in decades. Image credit: Volusia County

A mysterious structure has been revealed along Daytona Beach Shores in Volusia County, Florida, on the heels of Hurricane Nicole and Hurricane Ian. No one is quite sure yet what the object may be, but there are some interesting ideas floating around the local community, from a shipwreck to the relics of a long-lost NASCAR race.

The strange wooden sight was reportedly first spotted by beachgoers on Thanksgiving weekend, Kevin A Captain, a spokesperson for Volusia County, told CBS News. Consisting of odd pieces of wood and perhaps some metal poking out of the sand, the visible portion of the debris stretches for somewhere between 24 meters (80 feet) and 30 meters (100 feet).


It emerged as a result of beach erosion from a duo of hurricanes that have recently rocked Florida: the ferocious Category 4 storm Hurricane Ian hit in late September and the Category 1 Hurricane Nicole a few weeks later in early November. While Hurricane Nicole was milder than Ian, it was especially fierce in Volusia County where this strip of beach is found.

A strange wooden structure emerges on the Floridan beach.

Another shot of the structure. Image credit: Volusia County

On top of the wider damage to the area, the beach suffered a significant amount of erosion caused by intense winds, heavy rain, and choppy waves. 

“This erosion is unprecedented at this point. We haven’t seen this kind of erosion in a very long time,” Volusia Beach Safety Deputy Chief Tammy Malphurs told local media station News 6. “I’ve been on the beach probably 25 years and that’s the first time I’ve seen it exposed.”

Florida state archaeologists have been sent images of the site and will be heading down to the beach for a thorough investigation on Tuesday, December 6. 


Until that work is concluded, it looks like the local community will continue to be bubbling with speculation. Per The New York Times, guesses have ranged from it being the remains of a sea barrier, a shipwreck, or a portion of an old pier. Some have even pondered whether it might be seating left over from when NASCAR races took place on the beach.

Although weather events are often seen as a destructive force, they do occasionally have the potential to breathe new life into the past. 

In 2018, the UK was given a break from its typically damp weather and enjoyed a few months of being baked by the hot summertime sun. The strikingly dry weather turned fields from green to yellow and, in turn, revealed the imprints of where lost structures once existed. This included prehistoric settlements, burial mounds, and farms from the Iron Age, Bronze Age, and Roman period.


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