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80-Ft. Object Discovered by Beachgoers in Florida Prompts Investigation: 'It Is a Mystery'

People 12/5/2022 Abigail Adams
County officials said the mysterious object — which appears to be made of metal and wood — was unearthed, in part, due to unprecedented erosion caused by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole © WESH 2 News County officials said the mysterious object — which appears to be made of metal and wood — was unearthed, in part, due to unprecedented erosion caused by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole

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There's something strange sticking out of the sand on a Florida beach — and officials are trying to figure out what it is.

Authorities in Volusia County are looking into what exactly was recently discovered by beachgoers at Daytona Beach Shores, according to NBC affiliate WESH and The New York Times.

County officials said the approximately 80-foot wooden and metal object was unearthed, in part, due to erosion caused by Hurricanes Ian in September and Nicole in October, the Times reported.

Still, Volusia County Beach Safety spokeswoman Tamra Malphurs said this kind of erosion has not been seen "in a very long time," and that officials are "not sure" what they have on their hands, per CBS affiliate WKMG-TV.

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"It is a mystery," Malphurs said, according to the Times' report.

Volusia County Beach Safety did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Florida's underwater archaeological team has been contacted to investigate the object, according to WESH and the Times'.

As for what the object could be, theories floating around online point toward a shipwreck, an old pier, a barrier or even seating from NASCAR's old beach races — though nothing official has been released or confirmed.

In addition to determining what the object is, authorities now face the challenge of unearthing the object in its entirety. The object becomes submerged at high tide, making it difficult to reach, according to the Times.

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State archeologists have been sent photos of the object to assess, WESH reported. They will offer their expert opinions after viewing the photos and visiting the site itself, when they are able.

"We have never seen it exposed in that area," Malphurs said, per the outlet, "so this is the first time in at least 25 years of it being exposed."

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