“I got a little closer and realized it was the tooth I’ve been looking for for 10 years,” Florida’s Michael Nastasio says of his ancient shark fossil.
Nastasio isn’t exaggerating, either. He’s been at this for a long time, and his find is truly a remarkable one.
Michael knows the oceans outside Venice, Florida incredibly well. He works as a charter captain for his dayjob. But by passion – he’s a megalodon enthusiast.
Most Outsiders know right off the bat: megalodons are a truly gargantuan shark species. We’re talking three-times the size of a great white shark. This is exactly why their fossilized teeth are also massive. And two weeks ago, Nastasio would finally find one of these “holy grail” megalodon teeth for himself.
While diving off Venice shores, it was only a matter of minutes before Michael saw his trophy: a 6-inch, super thick fossilized tooth from a megalodon shark:
“Finding a tooth that big is known as the holy grail of fossil hunting,” store manager of Florida’s Shark Frenzy, Brittanie Hervas, tells local 10 Tampa Bay of Nastasio’s discovery. “Everyone wants to find a megalodon bigger than 6 inches, or at least hitting that 6-inch mark.”
Now, after over a decade of searching, Michael can call himself a member of this prestigious “Venice 6-inch club.”
Of his find, Nastasio he has a great “sense of satisfaction. Been waiting a long time for it.”
It’s all a dream come true for Michael Nastasio. He moved to Venice specifically for the shark teeth, in fact. And when he finally found his grail, he was so nervous it wouldn’t hit the 6-inch mark that he could barely breathe. But it did, and he’s still shaking over it now.
Gigantic Shark Tooth Belonged to 60-Foot Megalodon
According to the diver, “The tooth measures 6 1/16” exactly. “I’m cleaning it now and is definitely going to be a smoker. I’ll post cleaned up photos later once it’s fully cleaned and dry,” Nastasio continues of his find. “I’m so happy right now and literally still shaking. Casper my cat is totally helping me clean it if anyone was wondering.”
Now, a 6-foot serrated tooth from a prehistoric shark is cool enough. But for every inch a megalodon tooth packs, it’s estimated that correlates to ten feet of length in the actual monsters. That’s a 60-foot shark.
Conservative estimates for the species place the mean length at around 30-feet. Which is still a whole 10-15 feet longer than the average great white shark. There’s a growing consensus with paleontologists, however, that megalodons could’ve surpassed 80-feet in length. That’s two schoolbusses back to back – and then some.
Michael is in the right place for megalodon fossil hunting, too. The city is a hotbed for the rare shark teeth. That’s because the coastal area was once a breeding ground for these giants millennia ago.
“Megalodons are here in Venice because a long time ago, we had megalodons swimming in the ocean during what’s known as the Miocene age,” Shark Frenzy’s Hervas adds. “This is millions and millions of years ago. Fossil deposits actually went right offshore here, which is why Venice is known as the shark tooth capital of the world.”
Congrats on the find of a lifetime, Michael!