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Thursday, 22 September 2011

florida's coral castle - a modern megalithic mystery

coral castle
Photo by errrrrrrrrika on flickr

The Coral Castle may look like any other strange, kitsch theme park, particularly when you learn that it's in America's best-known tourist theme park haven, Florida, but this apparent modern take on Inca and Mayan architecture has another side to it.

Coral Castle, August 2002 040
Photo by Osseous
The 1100 tonnes of megalithic stone that make up this place, including a 23 tonne obelisk and a 22-tonne crescent moon block, were cut, moved and carved over 30 years from the early years of the 20th century by one man, a five-foot-tall, skinny Latvian named Edward Leedskalnin whose cult legend status had only just begun to blossom when he died aged 64 in 1951. The Coral Castle was meant to a home to bring Leedskalnin's lost love to him, but it became a tourist attraction and remains a place of wonder because of its apparently impossible construction. Like the Easter Island statues, the Pyramids or Stonehenge, the big question about Coral Castle is how Leedskalnin did it with just the simple tools that observers could see around the site as he was building. Leedskalnin himself said he had discovered the secret of how those mysterious structures had been built, and the principles of anti-gravity.

Coral Castle
Photo by violinha on flickr
The idea that Leedskalnin floated giant pieces of stone out of the ground, and used harmonic sound waves or magnetism or some other kind of amazing secret powers to construct the castle has its physical representation in the nine-tonne monolith which is the entrance gateway, a single block eight feet high that fits neatly within the surrounding wall and balances so perfectly on its centre of gravity that just pushing it with one finger makes the monolith open. Add to the myths Leedskalnin's celestial calculations for much of the castle's layout, with various stones standing in for the moon and other planets, and even a sundial timed to the winter and summer solstices and the seeds are sown for a very American kind of dream come true, with Leedskalnin a kind of Tesla-like hero.

2 comments:

  1. Forget all the myths about how Coral Castle was built. Read the truth in the new book titled Coral Castle Construction, which is available on Amazon.

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