An art photographer examining the damage inflicted by Hurricane Irma upon his city of Cocoa, Florida was amazed to discover what appears to be an ancient canoe that was unearthed during the storm.
Randy Lathrop was riding his bike near the Indian River when he spotted the out-of-place wooden vessel sitting near the edge of the water.
Having lived through a number of hurricanes hitting his community, Lathrop noted that odd objects washing ashore after storms isn't entirely unusual for the area.
However, the mysterious canoe was far bigger and certainly more enigmatic that the items usually uncovered by metal detector-wielding beachgoers after such events.
Fortunately, Lathrop and a friend managed to salvage the vessel, which measures a whopping 15 feet long and weighs almost 700 pounds/
A former participant in historic shipwreck salvage, the find was particularly interesting to Lathrop, who said that the presence of square iron nails in the ship suggests that it came from the 1700's, although he conceded to be uncertain about that assessment.
More information should be known soon as the Florida Division of Hurricane Resources now has possession of the piece and is studying it to learn more about its origins.
Their initial assessment is that the canoe narrowed its age range down to somewhere between the early arrival of Europeans to America up to several decades ago, but, even if that is the case, it is likely to be at least 50 years old.
A better understanding of the vessel's age will likely be revealed in a few weeks, once results from carbon dating tests on the canoe are complete.
Source: NBC News