Drone Photographer Discovers Mystery Driftwood Shack Perched on Cliff

A drone photographer discovered an elaborate shack made out of driftwood perched on a rocky cliff above the Pacific Ocean in California that is believed to be inhabited by a hermit.

Nick, who goes by Parallax Effect on YouTube, posted a video of his discovery in Pedro Point Headlands near San Francisco back in December 2022. But it has picked up steam in the last few weeks after a viral video on X (formerly Twitter) got local press investigating the story.

An official from the Pacifica Land Trust has told the media that he has been aware that a hermit may have been living on Devil’s Slide cliff for 10 years. In modern parlance, a hermit is someone who lives separately from the rest of society.

In Nick’s description of his video, he explains that he was “hiking along the California coast in a spot familiar to us and I noticed something odd down on the cliffs. Flying out to investigate revealed one of the most incredible human structures I’ve ever seen. We had so many questions — Who made this? Why? Why here? How?!”

Nick’s video gives the world an incredible view of the unusual building, showing multiple rooms that have tables, beds, and even a punching bag. It also shows how close the three-story structure is to the ocean water, making it vulnerable to the elements.

And, according to recent reports, the structure may no longer exist. Yesterday, the Daily Mail published images, taken over the weekend, showing the driftwood home collapsed.

The San Francisco Chronicle also confirmed the shack’s demise. Chronicle photographer Stephen Lam shot photos of it on Friday, showing debris in the building in disrepair. However, he also noticed a smaller structure 500 feet away that appears inhabitable.

In Nick’s original YouTube video, commenters had wondered whether the structure had survived the storms that battered California during winter time.

“This shack has been there for many years, but it was almost completely destroyed during last year’s winter/rains,” writes Dan Sullivan.

Nick replied: “First of all, there was no sign of someone being present from any of the footage. Second, the wind and waves in the winter would obliterate this. It may already be gone, the images I shot are almost a year old.”

Nick adds that he believes the building was built as a “project by someone, or a group, during the pandemic.”

More if Nick’s work, where he tests out consumer drones and mirrorless cameras, can be found on his YouTube channel.