Edward Leedskalnin - Coral Castle
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Coral Castle is a stone structure created by the Latvian American eccentric Edward Leedskalnin north of the city of Homestead, Florida in Miami-Dade County at the intersection of U.S. 1 (South Dixie Highway) and Southwest 157th Ave. The structure comprises numerous megalithic stones (mostly limestone formed from coral), each weighing several tons. It currently serves as a privately-operated tourist attraction. Coral Castle is noted for the mystery surrounding its creation, considered to be built single handedly by Leedskalnin using magnetism and/or supernatural abilities.
According to the Coral Castle's own promotional material, Edward Leedskalnin was jilted by his 16-year-old fiancée Agnes Scuffs in Latvia, just one day before the wedding. Leaving for America, he came down with allegedly terminal tuberculosis, but spontaneously healed, stating that magnets had some effect on his disease.
Leedskalnin originally built the castle, which he named Rock Gate Park, in Florida City, Florida around 1923. He purchased the land from Ruben Moser whose wife helped assist him when he had a very bad bout with tuberculosis.
The grounds of Coral Castle consist of 1,100 short tons (1,000 t) of stones found in the forms of walls, carvings, furniture and a castle tower. While commonly referred to as being made up of coral, it is actually made of oolite, also known as oolitic limestone. Oolite is a sedimentary rock composed of small spherical grains of concentrically layered carbonate that may include localized concentrations of fossil shells and coral. Oolite is found throughout southeastern Florida from Palm Beach County to the Florida Keys. Oolite is often found beneath only several inches of topsoil, such as at the Coral Castle site.
The stones are fastened together without any mortar. They are simply set on top of each other using their immense weight to keep them together. However, the craftsmanship detail is so skillful that the stones are connected with such precision that no light passes through the joints. The 8-foot (2.4 m) tall vertical stones that make up the perimeter wall have a uniform height. Even with the passage of decades and a direct hit on August 24, 1992 by the Category 5 Hurricane Andrew, which leveled everything in the area, the stones have not shifted.
Many of the features and carvings of the castle are notable. Among them are a two-story castle tower that served as Leedskalnin's living quarters, walls consisting entirely of 8-foot high pieces of stone, an accurate sundial, a Polaris telescope, an obelisk, a barbecue, a water well, a fountain, celestial stars and planets, and numerous pieces of furniture. The furniture pieces included are a heart-shaped table, a table in the shape of Florida, twenty-five rocking chairs, chairs resembling crescent moons, a bathtub, beds and a royal throne.
The Thirty Ton Stone. What is most remarkable about the contents of the Coral Castle is the massive size of the stones used throughout the construction, all the more remarkable when one considers that a single man assembled the entire site using only primitive tools. With few exceptions, the objects are made from single pieces of stone that weigh on average 15 short tons (14 t) each. The largest stone weighs 30 short tons (27 t) and the tallest stones are two monolithic stones standing 25 ft (7.6 m) high each.
The structure is considered mysterious by some, mainly because it is said that one man assembled the entire structure. Leedskalnin seems to have gone to great lengths to ensure that he was not observed working. The castle's official site states that "Ed did much of his work at night by lantern light. The Coral Castle has numerous lookouts along the castle walls that were designed to help protect his privacy."
There are various theories that hold that Leedskalnin constructed the castle using some unknown form of science. For example, one website claims that "Ed Leedskalnin left behind the blueprints of nature, a Secret Knowledge of the Ancients". Such theories seem to be discounted by evidence, such as photographs showing Leedskalnin working, apparently using traditional methods like block and tackle.
There is skepticism as to the success of the traditional methods of tripods equipped with pulleys and chains that are in the photographs of Leedskalnin at work. Some point out that the tripods appear to rise only about 20 ft (6.1 m), while the largest stones are 25 ft (7.6 m) long and stand vertical. They claim that tripods that are made from wooden telephone poles could not support the larger stones. There are not enough pulleys to lessen the weight of the stones enough that a 100-pound (45 kg) man could exert enough force to lift the stones. The chains can still be found in the tool room of the castle tower and are seen in the photographs. They have links 3/8 in (0.95 cm) thick and are only rated with a 3.5-short-ton (3.2 t) workload and may not be able to support the weight of the stones. However, these claims have not been rigorously analyzed by either engineers or scientists.
The Coral Castle site states that "if anyone ever questioned Ed about how he moved the blocks of coral, Ed would only reply that he understood the laws of weight and leverage well." He also stated that he had "discovered the secrets of the pyramids", which of course could be interpreted in either esoteric or engineering terms.
Despite the skepticism of traditional building methods, at least one person, W. T. Wallington, has shown that he can produce feats of this nature using only simple tools. Given this type of construction method, the statements of Leedskalnin and the evidence surrounding its construction this could be the way Leedskalnin built the Coral Castle.
Here is a picture of Coral Castle, you can see some of the large stone artwork in this picture.
You can discover the secrets of how Edward Leedskalnin built Coral Castle, these 2 books reveal his secret methods for transporting very heavy stones effortlessly.
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