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A mysterious shipwreck that emerged off Daytona Beach, Florida, is three times larger than initially described, according to marine archaeologists.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum came to that conclusion after sending a team to examine the wreck, which appeared around April 20 in the 3200 block of Daytona Beach Shores.

Volusia County officials estimated it may be a 25- to 30-foot ship, but archaeologists say a lot more is hidden below the sand. The team of experts included the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research.

“We have almost 75-feet-long exposed wreckage, so the wreck was probably closer to 100 feet long,” Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program archaeologist Chuck Meide said in an April 28 news release.

“It has iron deck supports, which were introduced to wooden ships in the 1830s and (were) probably more common in the second half of the 1800s. The wood is very well preserved and the lowermost portion of the hull seems to be preserved beneath the sand.”

That means the ship could date to about the same time the original version of Daytona Beach was founded in 1870.

Daytona Beach officials told WESH they’ve long known “there was some kind of debris field” at the spot where the new wreck was discovered. They just didn’t know what caused it.

The wreck is one of two that have emerged from sands off Daytona Beach since December, officials said. The other was examined by the museum and found to be “an 1800s cargo ship,” officials said.

Archaeologists say “extensive hurricane erosion (from Ian and Nicole)in September and November” resulted in the ships being found.

Original article

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