To this day, no one knows how Ed Leedskalnin managed to create his architectural wonder, Coral Castle in Florida, without any help from people or machines.

Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida, is often described as one of the most bizarre structures ever built. The castle is considered a marvel of engineering and has been compared to both Stonehenge, ancient Greek temples, and Egypt’s mighty pyramids. Incredibly, it was constructed by a single man, Edward Leedskalnin. He was born in January 1887 into a poor family in Latvia. As a child, Edvard was often sickly and spent much of his time reading books. He dropped out of school in the fourth grade because the education bored him, something not uncommon in highly gifted children. At the age of 26, in 1912, he got engaged to Agnes Scuffs, who was ten years younger, but the day before the wedding, Agnes suddenly changed her mind, and the wedding was called off.

A few years later, Edvard left Latvia and headed to North America, where he worked as a lumberjack in Canada, California, and Texas before contracting tuberculosis and falling seriously ill. The doctor who examined the 1.52-meter-tall, 45-kilogram Latvian explained that he probably wouldn’t live long. In the winter of 1922-23, ”Ed” moved to Florida City due to the climate. There, he was supported by a friendly couple, and miraculously, he recovered and was even able to buy a piece of land from them. Ed then started a construction project that would astound the world. The massive work is constructed from a total of 1,100 tons of giant limestone slabs formed from fossilized shells and corals, which he single-handedly quarried, cut, and placed with exact precision. Some of these stones weigh as much as 30 tons each.

Ed was very secretive and didn’t want anyone to see how he worked, so he always worked at night by the light of a lantern. Ed’s neighbors claimed to have heard a strange song during his work, and some children who spied on Ed one night reported seeing large stones floating in the air. After 28 years of work and with the help of simple tools like a hoist and a chain hoist made from old telephone poles set up as a tripod, the building was completed. Leedskalnin himself called his work Rock Gate Park, but it would later become known as Coral Castle. It has been claimed that the reason Ed built the castle was to impress his former fiancée back in Latvia in the hope that she would one day return to him.

However, that did not happen, but many, many others would come to visit the impressive castle and its gardens. Ed charged a 10-cent admission fee and gladly guided his guests, but when people asked him how he managed to move all the stones and place them, he always refused to reveal his methods. He did, however, explain, ”I understand the laws of weight, measurement, and leverage,” and added, ”I have discovered the secrets of the pyramids and figured out how the Egyptians and the ancient builders in Peru, Yucatan, and Asia, with only primitive tools, erected and placed stone blocks weighing several tons.” In 1936, Ed moved the entire castle to the nearby city of Homestead and rented a truck with a driver. He then asked the surprised driver to leave the truck overnight so he could load the stones himself.

The door used at the entrance to the castle weighs a whopping 9 tons but could be easily opened even by a child with just a little push. When it needed repairs in 1986, it took six men and a 20-ton crane to move the large stone slab. Upon closer inspection, it was found that Leedskalnin had drilled a hole vertically through the stone door and placed a metal rod in the hole, which rested on a truck bearing at the bottom. Since the bearing had been damaged after all those years, the door could not be opened. Despite modern technology, it proved impossible to reposition the door with the exact precision Ed had achieved earlier, so today, the door is not as easy to open as it once was when Ed put it in place.

The interior of the castle is no less impressive. It features artwork, chairs, tables, stairs, fountains, and sundials, all placed with exact precision. The structure is so stable that not even Hurricane Andrew, which hit Florida in 1992, damaged it, even though everything else in the vicinity was destroyed. Although Ed did not want to reveal how he built Coral Castle, he wrote several books, and in some of them, he provided clues about how he might have done it. In his 1945 book ”Magnetic Current,” he wrote, among other things, about reversing (counteracting) magnetic forces, and some scientists believe that if this is done with a kind of electromagnetic frequency, it would be possible to lift heavy objects with that force. Regardless of how he accomplished this feat, there is hardly any doubt that Edward Leedskalnin was a great genius.

Ed dug a well for water, and he lived on the Coral Castle property. When World War II came and Ed sought a patent for one of his advanced inventions, the authorities sent people there to try to convince him to reveal his secret because they hoped to use it in the war. Ed adamantly refused, and he was subsequently denied his patent. Some time later, he was also found severely beaten. Edward Leedskalnin remained unmarried throughout his life and died in 1951 at the age of 64.

The Mystery of Coral Castle

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