A walker came across the body on Towan Beach in Newquay just after 6.30am on Saturday.
According to the Plymouth Herald, Inspector Howard Brugge, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said the force was treating the death as unexplained.
He added that it did not appear that the man had been in the sea, and that initial theories included the possibility he may have fallen from a cliff or suffered a medical episode.
Cornwall Live said it had not been ascertained whether the man was a visitor to the area or a local. For updates on the story follow Cornwall Live's blog here.
Back in 2014, a man on holiday in Cornwall died after he went skinny dipping with friends and a huge wave broke his neck.
Harry Swordy, 27, a teaching assistant from South Devon, and three other friends stripped off for a New Year's Eve swim in the sea at Loe Bar Beach, near Porthleven, at around 1am on 1st January 2014.
But as they entered the sea, they were hit by an enormous wave that knocked them off their feet. Three of the friends managed to make it back to shore, but Mr Swordy was swept out to sea.
His body was also discovered by a walker, washed up on the Porthleven Beach at 8.40am the following morning.