A giant oak tree uprooted by superstorm Sandy has exposed centuries-old human remains.
The tree has stood in a park in the Connecticut town of New Haven, on the US east coast, since 1909.
But Sandy's powerful winds toppled the tree and revealed the remains, along with what officials believe is some sort of time capsule tangled in its roots.
A local woman said she spotted the back of a skull, upside down, with its mouth open and still connected to a spine and rib cage.
"I noticed what I thought was a rock at first, I kind of poked it and a piece came off in my hand, and I noticed it was bone fragments," the woman, Katie Carbo, told local news station WTNH.
"So I took a stick and knocked some of the dirt away and noticed it was an entire skull and body and vertebrae, ribs."
Police went to the scene to investigate and roped off the area but later said they did not suspect foul play.
They believe the bones belong to a former cemetery.
"This is someone's family remains," New Haven Sergeant Anthony Zona was quoted by the New Haven Independent as saying.
"It should be given a proper burial."
City officials have also taken custody of cement box found among the bones which they believe to be some sort of time capsule.
No more information was available and officials will decide what to do with it at a later date.
The Lincoln Oak, planted in the park on the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth, is believed to have toppled on Monday night during the height of Hurricane Sandy.
The park was once a cemetery, starting with haphazard burials in shallow graves in the 1650s, until the cemetery was moved to a different location in 1821, WTNH reports.
All of the headstones were moved, but all of the bodies were not.
Have you ever found something extraordinary by accident? Let us know by sending us an email.
Author: Erin Tennant.