LOOK: Massive Megalodon Tooth Discovered in Phosphate Mine

by Shelby Scott
(Photo credit -/AFP via Getty Images)

The megalodon, an ancient shark potentially capable of growing up to 60 feet in length, remains one of our planet’s most fascinating prehistoric beasts. And while these creatures perished eons ago, we’re still, like the dinosaurs, finding evidence in fossils of their long-ago existence. The most common proof of existence for the megalodon is in its teeth. Recently, one couple discovered a megalodon tooth in a phosphate mine, taking to Reddit to get clarification. Check out the massive shark tooth below.

Looking for help identifying the fossilized tooth, the Reddit user simply wrote, “Help identifying?”

One sarcastic viewer quipped, “Tooth,” and another responded, “I second this.”

However, a more helpful Reddit user responded, “Looks pretty fossilised [sic] and is much too large to be a great white tooth. I think you’ve got yourself a Megalodon tooth here!”

According to Newsweek, the megalodon is one of the largest and most powerful species to have ever lived. The outlet states scientists believe it could have ranged between 50 and 60 feet in length. Estimated to have evolved around 20 million years ago, the massive shark swam our planet’s oceans for 13 million years. Afterward, the monster shark went extinct. Given that sharks boast a bone structure made primarily of cartilage, the megalodon did not fossilize well. Now, the only real proof we have of their existence is in their teeth.

Of the megalodon tooth located in the phosphate mine above, Ashby Gale, a paleontologist and owner of Charleston Fossil Adventures, said this particular one could date anywhere between 3.6 and 15.9 million years old.

Where to Locate Megalodon Teeth in the United States:

Per the news outlet, ancient megalodons could be found in oceans worldwide at the time of their existence. That means their teeth are often found in coastal regions internationally. As such, the most common places for fossil hunters to locate these ancient teeth in the U.S. span the South.

Megalodon teeth are typically found along the Atlantic coast, in states like Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Maryland. Further, the teeth typically range in size, with the largest singular tooth ever found measuring a terrifying 7 inches overall. Additionally, a fossil hunter who located multiple teeth in North Carolina over the summer, found some large chompers of his own, with one tooth measuring 6 inches in length and the other measuring 5.5.

Megalodon teeth are most likely found in the southeastern U.S. because scientists believe female megalodons once used much of Florida as a nursery in which to protect their young. The mother shark would raise her offspring in these shallow waters in order to better enable the babies to protect themselves. Great White sharks, close relatives of the megalodon, continue to utilize nurseries today.