Oh My Gosh I Can’t Believe It: Florida’s Coral Castle

by | Apr 15, 2010 | POLITICS

This world of ours is one of mystery and intrigue.

This world of ours is one of mystery and intrigue. Outside the confines of our iphones, facebooks, and whatever other iteration of our social personas, exist supernatural incidents that we more often than not choose to discount or ignore, because we’re ignorant, arrogant, or scared of the unknown. Well, not me, folks. Partly out of fascination, partly because I have nothing else to write about today, I am starting this (semi) regular column to investigate and provide insight on some of the world’s more bizarre unexplainable events.

Today’s subject is Mr. Ed Leedskalnin, late owner, operator, and creator of Homestead, Florida’s Coral Castle, and self-proclaimed secret-keeper of the Ancient Egyptians. In 1923, Ed built the Coral Castle, a giant compound comprised of over 1,000 tons of oolitic limestone, all on his own, using only primitive tools (and no mortar), and what he claimed to be the secret of the pyramids.

coral castle courtyard

A Latvian immigrant with only a 4th grade education, Ed came to the U.S. in the early 20th century after his 16 year old fiancée ditched him the day before their wedding. It was this heartbreak that inspired him to erect the castle. Ed managed to install such features to the castle as an 8-foot perimeter wall, so uniform and precisely cut that no light passes through the joints, an 8 ton revolving door that can be opened by a five-year old with one finger, a 25 foot obelisk weighing over 20 tons, a three-ton rocking chair, and a two-story tower that he used as his living space. Originally built in Florida City, Ed moved the whole structure single-handedly ten miles away to its current location, Homestead. Witnesses saw the stones on a moving truck, but did not see them loaded onto or off of the truck.

coral castle gate

So how the hell does a 5 ft, 100-pound man, achieve such an accomplishment by himself with no fancy tools? Good question. He worked only at night and refused to let anybody see him work. When asked how he did it, his only explanations were “It’s not difficult if you know how” and “I have discovered the secrets of the pyramids.” Ed also claimed to have a unique understanding of the forces of magnetism, which he published in several pamphlets. What that means, I’m not so sure, but some witnesses claim to have seen him talking to the stones, while other witnesses claimed to have seen the blocks floating in the air like balloons. For more information on Ed and his castle, there are several solid websites and documentaries, as well as Ed’s own publications.

Like I said, the world is a mysterious place, full of things we can’t explain, but it’s my personal opinion that the unexplainable serve to keep our collective ego as a species in check. Though we often forget it, we don’t know everything, and we only have knowledge to gain from the acceptance and confrontation of the unknown.

So how did Ed do it? I have no idea, but oh my gosh, I can’t believe it.

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.




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