Hurricane Irma washed up a nearly 400-year-old canoe in Florida

by

RANDY "SHOTS" LATHROP
  • Randy "Shots" Lathrop
Hurricane Irma brought a torrent of winds and rain to Florida's Atlantic Coast, but it also brought a little bit of history.

Researchers say a dugout canoe that washed up on the shores of Cocoa, Florida, could be hundreds of years old. As reported by the Sun Sentinel, radiocarbon dating shows the canoe's wood may go back to the 1600s.

Other parts of the canoe, like nails and paint, suggest it wasn't built or used until the 1800s or 1900s. Whatever the case, this potentially pre-Florida piece of Florida history has caught the attention of several local researchers and historians.


The University of South Florida has constructed a viewable 3-D model of the canoe. And while the exact origins of the find aren't yet known, Paul N. Backhouse, director of the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum in the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, has pointed out that the find could help us understand Florida's Seminole population.

Photographer Randy "Shots" Lathrop discovered the old dugout during a morning bike ride. After preservation, it will likely be placed in a museum.


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