Featured Image Credit: Tina Frazier
It’s always super cool when you find a shark tooth or a cool shell on the beach. But imagine how a 7-year-old boy felt when he found a massive megalodon tooth hidden in the sand while on the beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The tooth, estimated to be over 5 inches long, came from the largest shark to ever exist.
The lucky boy who discovered this artifact, Foster Frazier, was vacationing with his family back in June while digging along a stream on the beach.
Megalodon means “giant tooth” and refers to the extinct shark Carcharocles megalodon which was estimated to be around 50 to 59 feet long. That’s three times the size of the average adult female great white shark that are usually 15 to 16 feet long.
At first glance, the giant tooth just looked like a rock, but after washing it off in the water, Frazier knew he had come across a real treasure. He was knocking sand off the sides of the stream when he found the tooth sticking out of the side of the bank. To estimate the exact age of the tooth you would need to know the age of the sand that covered it.
According to Daniel Abel, a marine science professor at Coastal Carolina University, the tooth is millions of years old. Megalodon’s lived from around 23 million to 2.6 million years ago and went extinct when the oceans cooled. They mainly lived in warm waters and likely could not handle the decrease in temperature, leading to their extinction.
Frazier was the perfect kid to have come across such an artifact. According to his mother, he has always loved sharks. Whether it’s reading books about them or sporting shark T- shirts, he knows all there is to know about these massive animals. He had even told his parents that he would find a Megalodon tooth one day!
The giant tooth is currently on display at Riverfront Museum in Peoria, Illinois. So next time you venture out on the beach keep your eyes open for hidden treasures, who knows, maybe you might be as lucky as Frazier was and discover something truly amazing.