Wooden scraps washed ashore in Florida believed to be from 200-year-old shipwreck

Florida's culture is uniquely entwined with hidden jewels known for washing up along its shores. This new discovery is no exception.

 Hurricane Nicole makes landfall in Florida (photo credit: REUTERS)
Hurricane Nicole makes landfall in Florida
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Seaside archaeological experts in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, are working to uncover what is believed to be a shipwreck dating back to the 1800s. This discovery was made after some rubble was cleared following two recent hurricanes which hit Florida's west coast.

The alleged shipwreck started to be uncovered following Hurricanes Ian and Nicole but had been partially buried to various degrees due to the tides. Now, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program team from the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum has uncovered something truly magical for seaside dwellers.

The museum is working with the Florida Department of State Bureau of Archaeological Research and FPAN (FL Public Archaeology Network) to study the remains of this mysterious shipwreck. Could this ship, dating back to the 1800s, be the key to finding some long-lost treasure on Florida's Gulf coast shores?

Sifting sand for treasure

Following a report by The Weather Channel titled, “Mystery Object Appears On Florida Beach After Hurricane Nicole,” lighthouse archaeologists decided to take a closer look and uncover the mystery. 

St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeologist Chuck Meide confirmed that this structure was indeed a shipwreck and that it may have sailed across the Atlantic ocean at one point. 

“The shipwreck is most likely a cargo-carrying sailing vessel from the 1800s. It would have likely sailed within sight of the coast and used lighthouses for navigation, though it was probably big enough to cross the Atlantic as well,” Meide stated in a press conference, which was later posted on Facebook.

 Hurricane Nicole makes landfall in Florida (credit: REUTERS) Hurricane Nicole makes landfall in Florida (credit: REUTERS)

It was re-buried by the time we got to it, so we didn’t see it at full exposure. We are not sure of its overall size but reports of witnesses said the wreckage was between 80 to 100 feet long.”

This isn't Florida's first rodeo

Florida's culture is uniquely entwined with hidden jewels known for washing up along its shores. Over the years, Florida has uncovered interesting cultural artifacts either just offshore, or directly on the beach. "In these cases, our collective human story is brought to the forefront,” said Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd of the archeological dig.

The Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources shared their commitment "to protecting and promoting these significant submerged cultural resources."

For now, authorities in Florida have a single request: reach out to the proper channels (namely, the Bureau of Archaeological Research) when finding different artifacts or sites on the beach.

"Please take only pictures and leave only footprints so as to preserve the integrity of archaeological sites for future generations of Floridians.” Who knows what other unique discoveries will wash up next.