The Peculiar Coral Castle of Florida: One Small Man’s Huge Feat

The town of Homestead, Florida, is renown for an attraction that is as peculiar as the Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. This mysterious creation is called the Coral Castle but was originally named Rock Gate Park by its diminutive inventor and builder, Edward Leedskalnin. In secret, construction of his masterpiece began in 1920 and took two decades to complete. Somehow without anyone’s knowledge, Leedskanin managed to haul in, carve, and seemingly defy gravity by moving and erecting huge blocks of coral. Incredibly, some of the slabs weighed more than 30 tons. Just how this one man, all alone, accomplished such a huge feat is still a mystery.

Coral Castle Rock Garden

Coral Castle in Miami, Florida, is an engineering marvel of one man, Edward Leedskalnin. Credit: Tonya Stinson, CC 2.0.

Who Built the Coral Castle?

At first glance, the complex might be an amazing place for visitors simply because of the material Leedskalnin used. Everything within its boundaries is coral. But when you learn more about the history of the site, an even more astonishing backstory emerges. The main reason construction took as long as it did was that the whole park was the work of just one man. That might be an accomplishment in itself, but this one man was just five feet tall and weighed only 100 pounds.

Born in the Stāmeriena Parish in Latvia in 1887, Leedskalnin was, by nature, a very secretive and introverted person. According to legend, Leedskalnin proposed marriage to a woman, Agnes Scuffs, when he was 26 years of age. For some reason, she broke off their engagement.

Edward Leedskalnin built the Coral Castle

Edward Leedskalnin, circa 1910. Public domain.

Leedskalnin decided to pack up his life and head for New York. He arrived there in April 1912. Unable to find any regular work for the next six months, he opted to relocate once again. This time he headed for the Pacific Northwest and took full advantage of the lumberjack boom that was happening at the time. Accounts suggest that Leedskalnin headed for the warmer climate of Florida when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. It was there that he bought a plot of land and began working on a home fit for his former fiancé, who he referred to as “Sweet Sixteen.”

How Was the Coral Park Constructed?

Many people believe Leedskalnin’s love for Agnes Scuffs was the definitive motive behind the magnificent creation of Rock Gate Park. Without anyone really taking notice of his methods, Leedskalnin quarried, transported, crafted and constructed around 1000 blocks of coral for the walls of his new home. A number of those blocks purportedly weighed in excess of 30 tons. Neighbors have gone on record saying that he transported at least some of them by truck from the quarry ten miles away, but that doesn’t explain how the truck was loaded and unloaded.

The contents of the truckloads were not just materials for his home; Leedskalnin also used an additional 100 tons of coral to construct ornaments and furniture within the grounds. One of the incredible features in the park is an obelisk weighing 28 tons and a single coral block that acts as a door. This block weighs 9 tons and can be easily moved with a single finger.

Coral Castle revolving door

Nine-ton revolving door. Source: Wikimedia Commons, GNU.

How Did Leedskalnin Build the Coral Castle?

Fringe Theories

As the mysterious creator did all of the work during the night without the pressure of prying eyes, people can only speculate how Leedskalnin created the Coral Castle. There are stories of curiosity getting the better of some of his neighbors who took it upon themselves to have a peek one night. These neighbors suggested that Leedskalnin placed both palms on a block of stone and started to sing. The slab reacted by levitating. Even if this report was accurate, it still sounds way too fanciful to have any credibility. This is the likely reason that skeptics have dismissed this claim.

Coral Castle tools

A display of some of the tools Leedskalnin used to engineer the Coral Castle. Credit: Tonya Stinson, CC 2.0.

An alternative theory exists that suggesting that Leedskalnin mastered hidden powers of the mind – perhaps telekinesis – and was able to move every block that way. Others came out and flatly asked the man how he did it. All that he revealed was that he used simple leverage and gravity in the way that the ancient Egyptians supposedly constructed the Pyramids. Leedskalnin also hinted that he had harnessed the power of both magnetism and electricity and was fully aware of the secrets behind the construction of the Pyramids.

I have discovered the secrets of the pyramids, and have found out how the Egyptians and the ancient builders in Peru, Yucatan, and Asia, with only primitive tools, raised and set in place blocks of stone weighing many tons!

Edward Leedskalnin

Energy Fields?

Was Leedskalnin just being enigmatic or was there something in what he said? Sadly, we may never answer that question. Leedskalnin took all of his secrets to the grave back in 1951. Some people are more sensitive to energy fields than others. While using or standing within the archway of the gate, some visitors have reported headaches. Science has tried to make sense of all of this, and some of the data gathered during these investigations have led to certain conclusions. At key points on the site, telluric energy has apparently fluctuated.

According to Wikipedia, “A telluric current (from Latin tellūs, “earth”), or Earth current, is an electric current which moves underground or through the sea. Telluric currents result from both natural causes and human activity, and the discrete currents interact in a complex pattern.”

The Coral Garden

The Coral Garden, 2014. Credit: Tonya Stinson, CC 2.0.

This may mean that Leedskalnin designed and constructed the whole site specifically above a convergence of an energy ley. When two or more of these ley-lines intersect, some unusual effects might be detectable. Is it possible that one of these effects could be a form of anti-gravity, or could it have an effect on the natural magnetism of Earth?

Renowned rock star, Billy Idol, visited the Coral Castle in the 1980s. He was so impressed by what he saw there that he wrote and composed a song about it. The title of it was “Sweet Sixteen,” and it became a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Quite rightly, Coral Castle is considered to be an engineering and architectural marvel.

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Coral Castle website

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Les Hewitt

Les currently resides in London and is a freelance writer with a long standing passion for the unexplained and paranormal. In his spare time he enjoys astronomy and Xboxing. It's a big Universe full of wonders.

Historic Mysteries