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Florida beach's mystery debris uncovered by Hurricane Nicole likely shipwreck from 19th century

FOX News logo FOX News 12/6/2022 Sarah Rumpf
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A likely shipwreck was uncovered hundreds of years later after Hurricane Nicole ripped through east-central Florida's Daytona Beach Shores. 

According to FOX 35 Orlando, Florida archeologists believe the discovered remains are likely a 19th century merchant ship more than 80 feet long.

"Imagine as many Amazon trucks that you see on the roads today, this was the equivalent in the 1800s," Christopher McCarron, the archeology administrative director and the vessel captain of the St. Augustine maritime program shared with Fox 35.

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Archeologists are working to uncover what they believe to be shipwreck remains at Daytona Beach Shores. Fox 35/ Dave Puglisi © Fox 35/ Dave Puglisi Archeologists are working to uncover what they believe to be shipwreck remains at Daytona Beach Shores. Fox 35/ Dave Puglisi

The debris was discovered early last week by Volusia County officials after part of the beach was washed away during back-to-back hurricanes. Hurricane Ian and Nicole swept away numerous layers of sand from Daytona Beach, revealing a massive wooden object.

Mark Ard, director of external affairs for the Florida Department of State, said the department's Division of Historical Resources and Bureau of Archeological Research have been in contact with authorities in Daytona Beach Shores about the discovery. State archeologists are working with other archeologists to document the site, he told FOX 35 Orlando in an email.

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According to Ard, state archeologists will "map" the site and document the context of the site and the context of the debris. This includes logging of the site during excavation, field notes, drawings and photographs.

Ard said that when the state learns of a potential discovery, it works to ensure the area surrounding the discovery is protected. Fox 35/ Dave Puglisi © Fox 35/ Dave Puglisi Ard said that when the state learns of a potential discovery, it works to ensure the area surrounding the discovery is protected. Fox 35/ Dave Puglisi Objects appeared on a beach in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, after recent hurricanes hit the area. Fox 35/ Dave Puglisi © Fox 35/ Dave Puglisi Objects appeared on a beach in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, after recent hurricanes hit the area. Fox 35/ Dave Puglisi

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Ard said that when the state learns of a potential discovery, it works to ensure the area around the discovery is protected, noting that the removal of artifacts from an archeological site without authorization is a third-degree felony.

The debris in Daytona Beach Shores is just one of a few discoveries that have been made in Florida after Hurricane Nicole.

Human remains were unearthed by Hurricane Nicole on Hutchinson Island. Officials said they believe the remains might have come from a Native American burial mound.

A photographer spotted a 1930s trunk washing ashore near St. Augustine following the violent storm. Officials said they found nothing of value in the trunk.

Fox News' Julia Musto contributed to this report.

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