Coral Castle

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Edward Leedskalnin

The Coral Castle is a mysterious stone structure created by the Latvian American eccentric, Edward Leedskalnin, in Homestead, Florida. The structure is comprised of numerous megalithic stones each weighing several tons.

The structure is considered mysterious mainly because one man was able to assemble the entire structure by himself, with no outside help. This has led to numerous theories on the method Leedskalnin used to construct it.

Some suggest that he used a form of antigravity device to build the castle; he was just 100 lb (45 kg) and too weak to physically build it with ordinary means. Numerous designs have been suggested for this device, some using "harmonic sound waves", some using magnetism, and numerous other proposals. Leedskalnin himself claimed that he knew the "secret" of the ancient Egyptian pyramids, and some allege he used those secrets to assemble the structure. However, it's likely Leedskalnin constructed the Castle using more mundane means, as pictures exist of him constructing the Castle with block and tackle.

Billy Idol wrote and recorded the song "Sweet Sixteen" and filmed the video in the Coral Castle. The song was inspired by the story of Leedskalnin's former love, Agnes Scuffs, who is believed to be the main reason Leedskalnin built the structure.

As is noted in Joe Bullard's work, Waiting for Agnes, Leedskalnin was jilted by his sixteen-year-old fiance Agnes in Latvia, just one day before the wedding. Leaving for America, he came down with terminal tuberculosis but spontaneously healed, stating that magnets had some effect on his disease.

Hoping to somehow impress Agnes, he spent over 28 years building the Coral Castle, refusing to allow anyone to view him while he worked. A few teenagers, who secretly witnessed his work, reported that he had caused the blocks of coral to move like hydrogen balloons. The only tool that Leedskalnin spoke of using was a "perpetual motion holder."

Leedskalnin also said the castle was built as a temple to Egyptian gods, and indeed does contain various shrines and occult symbols.

Many of the features of the castle are notable, including machines to tell time, a table with a flower planted in the middle (he stated that he wanted the table to have flowers on it every day of the year), home made air conditioners and other electrical devices, as well as a nine-ton revolving door that is so well-balanced that a child could open it with the push of a single finger.

According to Bullard, many years after the castle was built, several Latvian tourists heard the story of the Coral Castle and made contact with Agnes, now in her seventies. Whenever Leedskalnin gave tours of the castle, people would ask him why he had spent all of his time and energy on the project. He'd look to the East toward Latvia and state he only hoped Agnes would hear of or see his castle, then realize his love for her.

Upon hearing this story, Agnes responded, "I didn't want to marry Edward when I was 16, and I don't want to marry him now." Leedskalnin died a few years later.

Missing image
The nine-ton revolving door at Coral Castle

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