What lurks beneath the waves? Long Beach got its answer in a big way on Tuesday when a massive chunk of concrete appeared on the sands near Belmont Pier, captivating locals and visitors alike.

Imagine strolling down the beach, the usual suspects of seashells and seaweed at your feet, when suddenly you’re faced with a six-foot-tall, bus-length monstrosity of stone. This was the reality for Long Beach residents and a crowd of perplexed onlookers who could hardly believe their eyes. “I couldn’t distinguish what it was,” one bystander confessed, echoing the widespread astonishment. Another local was more forthcoming: “It’s really big. Probably bigger than a bus. I’ve never seen anything like it in Long Beach.”

The mystery of this concrete leviathan was as dense as the material itself. While this behemoth of the deep didn’t journey from the abyss, it had a more mundane origin, though its arrival is anything but ordinary. The story begins at Hotel Maya, a picturesque resort-style urban beach known for its stunning waterfront views, not its contributions to marine debris. However, nature had other plans during a fierce storm on February 1st. The storm’s fury unleashed the L.A. River’s waters with such force that it snapped the chains binding a massive concrete dock, setting it adrift.

As the dock embarked on its unintended voyage, speculation was rife among Hotel Maya’s staff. Conventional wisdom suggested it would find a watery grave, succumbing to the depths due to its sheer weight and bulk. The dock defied expectations. Buoyed by the turbulent waters, it journeyed through the ocean’s expanse, traversing approximately five miles before making landfall at Junipero Beach.

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While beachgoers are no strangers to the oddities that the ocean coughs up, especially in a place as dynamic as Long Beach, the sight of a concrete colossus resting on the sand was unparalleled.

The community’s response was a mix of curiosity and concern. How did such a significant structure float and end up here? Clean-up crews explained that answers lay in the peculiar physics of storm-driven waters and the unexpected buoyancy of the dock. In short, it is just another layer of Long Beach’s complex relationship with the sea and proof that even the mightiest human-made structures are but playthings in the hands of nature’s caprices.

This isn’t Long Beach’s first rodeo with unexpected debris. Past storms have littered the beach with everything from grocery bags to bamboo, necessitating large-scale clean-up efforts. This time, however, the challenge was not just the volume but the sheer size of the debris. “We’re used to trash and debris washing up… But having a floating dock wash up in such a large chunk was quite a surprise,” shared a witness to the spectacle.

As intriguing as it is, this concrete eyesore is not a permanent fixture. Marine crews estimate a two-week timeline to dismantle the giant before it can be hauled off to a local dump, marking the end of its unlikely journey. In the meantime, it serves as a monument to the power of nature and the unpredictability of the sea, drawing crowds eager to catch a glimpse of Long Beach’s newest, albeit temporary, attraction.