Coral Castle: Mysterious Monument to Lost Love

No one knows how one man built Coral Castle, a miracle of engineering.

ByABC News via GMA logo
January 31, 2008, 9:19 PM

Feb. 1, 2008 — -- Like the ancient wonders of Stonehenge or the Great Pyramids of Egypt, there is an incredible and mysterious creation right here in the United States.

Coral Castle, in Homestead, Fla., just south of Miami, is an intricate rock garden made of enormous pieces of coral, many of them weighing several tons.

But more amazingly, Coral Castle was built entirely by one man Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin, who stood just 5 feet tall and weighed 100 pounds. To this day, no one knows how he did it.

Leedskalnin was jilted by his 16-year-old fiancee Agnes Scuffs in Latvia just days before the wedding. Heartbroken and hoping to win Scuffs back, Leedskalnin traveled to the United States in 1923 and dedicated his life to building a monument to her, which he called Rock Gate Park. It was a project that he continued to work on until his death in 1951.

The castle is an extraordinary feat of engineering, and experts have puzzled over how Leedskalnin, who only had a fourth-grade education, constructed Coral Castle by himself. He reportedly did all of the work in the dark of night, in order to keep his secrets.

For example, how did this little man build a 9-ton coral gate constructed so precisely that you can push it open using one finger?

The castle also has a 40-foot tall, 28-ton obelisk, a sun dial that still keeps perfect time and a Polaris telescope that is perfectly aligned with the North Star.

Leedskalnin lived a reclusive, self-contained life at the castle he built a water well, a fountain, a barbecue and several pieces of furniture, including an enormous heart-shaped table, 25 rocking chairs, a bathtub, beds and a 5,000-pound throne.

There are many theories on how Leedskalnin accomplished this amazing feat. Some say he had help from extraterrestrials, others believe he discovered the secrets behind anti-gravity and levitation.

Leedskalnin was a self-taught expert on magnetic currents, and one theory holds that he positioned the site to be perfectly aligned with Earth's poles to eliminate the forces of gravity, allowing him to move stones weighing several tons each.