Everyone loves a mystery, but it seems this unusual object likely isn’t buried treasure.
The object, which is reportedly made from wood and metal, was discovered by passing beachgoers and Volusia County Beach Safety, according to the New York Times.
County officials told the Times that the mysterious object had previously been buried under the sand but was revealed after Hurricane Nicole eroded the beach in November. Shortly before Nicole, Hurricane Ian — the deadliest hurricane to hit Florida in over 85 years — devastated the state in September.
The storms washed away parts of Daytona Beach and changed the landscape, which resulted in the discovery of the unknown object.
Volusia County has sent an archaeological team to investigate the scene, though it said the area could not be roped off because of rising water levels during high tide.
Curious locals and netizens have openly speculated about what the massive object may be, and have thrown out guesses including a buried shipwreck, fencing or a barrier of some kind, and even abandoned spectator seating from NASCAR beach racing in the days of old.
On Tuesday, Fox 35 Orlando reported that the structure is likely the remains of a shipwreck from the 1800s.
Reporter Amanda McKenzie said archeologists at the site believe the remains are that of a merchant ship. She filmed the flip-flop-wearing archeological crew as they used shovels to dig into the sand and again uncover the structure, which had again been covered by the tide overnight.
The on-site team is trying to uncover as many wooden timbers and iron fastenings as possible in order to potentially identify the construction of the believed ship. This may help determine its make, location of origin and era.
“It is a mystery,” Tamra Malphurs, a spokeswoman for Volusia County Beach Safety said. “Every now and then, something pops up, and usually you can tell what it is. This one, you just can’t confirm.”