There’s something protruding through the sand at Daytona Beach Shores in Volusia County, Fla., and it’s got local residents and officials buzzing with curiosity.
The unknown object, which is composed of wood and possibly some metal, is about 80 feet long and was recently discovered by beachgoers.
Volusia County Beach Safety county officials said in a series of statements by email that the object was visible in part because of beach erosion caused by Hurricane Nicole, and by Hurricane Ian. Continued high tides and rough surf also played a role in the object’s discovery, just south of Daytona Beach.
“The state underwater archaeological team has been notified to investigate further,” said Kevin Captain, a spokesman for the Volusia County government.
Theories about the object have been circulated on social media and on local news websites. The guesses include that it is a barrier, a shipwreck, a portion of an old pier, or spectator seating from when NASCAR had raced on the beach.
State archaeologists will examine the object, which consists of long rows of wood pieces jutting up from the sand.
Tamra Malphurs, a spokeswoman for Volusia County Beach Safety, told the New York Times, “It is a mystery. Many people think it is an old ship of some sort.”
Malphurs also told WKMG Orlando, “This erosion is unprecedented at this point. We haven’t seen this kind of erosion in a very long time. I’ve been on the beach probably 25 years, and that’s the first time I’ve seen it exposed.”
Malphurs continued when she told the Times, “Every now and then, something pops up, and usually, you can tell what it is. This one, you just can’t confirm. There could be some kind of metal there. We are not positive.”
Locals are just as curious and have expressed a few ideas of their own on social media about what the object could be.
One person wrote in a comment on Click Orlando, “Too straight and narrow for a boat [in my opinion]. I think it’s an old dock or boardwalk.”
Another said on Facebook, “I saw that a few days ago. It is probably an old ship that was shipwrecked. Very interesting.”