Thursday, May 12, 2011

Weird Wednesday - Coral Castle

Today we look at some weirdness in the Sunshine State.  Florida is regarded by AOL as America's Weirdest State.  Then again, that is AOL talking... Anyway, weirdest or not, Florida does have some weird things. One of my favorites is Coral Castle.

Built by Edward Leedskalnin over the span of nearly three decades, Coral Castle (originally called Rock Gate Park by Leedskalnin) consists of massive stone structures with an average weight of about 15 tons each. The largest stone is 30 tons and the tallest is 25 feet tall. Coral Castle merely laughed when Hurricane Andrew huffed and puffed in vain in 1992.

The question, of course, is how one frail man, working alone by lantern light in the dead of night, was able to move such gigantic stones. Leedskalnin simply said that he had discovered the secrets of the pyramids. He was also supposedly cured of tuberculosis with the aid of magnets and sold pamphlets about magnetic currents. Did he invent some amazing gizmo that levitated 50,000 pound rocks with ease?

Or, maybe he just had a remarkable engineering talent that combined single-minded determination with preternational patience and a genius's understanding of the potential of levers and pulleys.

Unfortunately, Mr. Leedskalnin died in 1951 and never revealed his secret. Coral Castle will long be a moment to his amazing achievements, whether accomplished by anti-gravity rays, aliens, or good old human ingenuity and elbow grease.

How do you think Coral Castle was built?

6 comments:

  1. I read about this recently in the newspapers, it's quite interesting. I wish I could visit the place, sounds marvelous.

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  2. Mr. Leedskalnin sounds like a really fascinating character. I'm going to have to jot this down in my idea journal ... if I can find it on my disaster of a desk.

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  3. Hmmm...This guy sounds like a truly unique individual. Maybe he had elves like the shoemaker? Interesting tale and Coral Castle has now been put on my list of weird and wonderful places to see.

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  4. Thanks for the comments!

    Yeah, I'd like to visit it too. MPax, you should use Mr. Leedskalnin's patented magneto-levitron to clean off your desk! Or hire Melissa's elves ;)

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  5. Oh, and welcome to the blog, Melissa :)

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