Boat Washes Up After Hurricane Irma, Turns Out It May Be 350 Years Old

October 10, 2017 Updated: October 5, 2018

A canoe washed up on the shores of the Indian River in Cocoa, Florida, after Hurricane Irma hit the state on Sept. 10. Now it seems the canoe dates back to the 17th century.

Photographer Randy “Shots” Lathrop found the dugout canoe and posted pictures of it online on Sept. 11. He reported the find to the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research.

The canoe is about 15 feet long and weighs hundreds of pounds. It was first evaluated by an archaeologist on Sept. 14.

The bureau had it carbon dated and the results were released on Oct. 5.

“Radiocarbon dating does not produce a single date but rather a range of dates with associated probabilities,” the bureau’s Division of Historical Resources explained in a Facebook post.

There was 50 percent chance the wood for the canoe was cut down between 1640 and 1680.

There was also a 37.2 percent probability the wood dates from 1760 to 1818.

In addition, there was an 8.6 percent probability that it dates to 1930 or later.

“The canoe has some interesting features, like the presence of paint and wire nails, that indicate it may have been made in the 19th or 20th century, so this adds to the mystery,” the bureau stated.

It could be that the canoe dates back hundreds of years, but was modified or fixed using more modern materials, the bureau states.

It could also be made of an old log. Or, going by the lowest probability scenario, it could also be only several decades old.

The bureau will have it conserved, “so that it can eventually be displayed locally for the Brevard area community and all Floridians to enjoy and learn from.”

A team from the University of South Florida 3D-scanned the canoe and created a 3D model of it.

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