A couple in South Carolina has discovered an ancient megalodon shark tooth as big as a human hand. Jessica Rose-Standafer Owens and her husband, Simon, were looking for shark teeth near the Stono river outside of Charleston when they found the prehistoric megalodon tooth, which is estimated to be at least 3 million years old.
Megalodon is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 23 to 2.6 million years ago. It is considered to be the largest shark that ever existed, and one of the largest fish on record. According to IFL Science, The scientific name, Carcharocles megalodon, literally means "giant tooth" - and megalodon had massive teeth are almost three times larger than the teeth of a modern great white shark.
"On May 17th, my husband, Simon, and I decided to go look for some shark teeth up off the Stono River in Charleston," Ms Owens, 34, told NDTV. "My husband was up off the bank in the wooded area as I was looking up against the bank and saw a mass with gray striations sticking out of the sand."
Ms Owens, who works as a clinical laboratory scientist, figured out that the mass in the sand was a giant shark tooth, and began recording the discovery. " I wanted to video the find as I was beyond excited to see something this large on the surface of the ground," she said.
The couple can be heard gasping in excitement in the video, which they shared on social media platforms. "If it's a tooth, it's going to be like biggest one we have ever found," Ms Owens can be heard saying, before brushing the sand away reveals that it is actually a giant tooth - measuring a whopping 5.75 inches.
The video has collected over 1.6 million views on TikTok, along with thousands of amazed comments.
According to the Daily Mail, the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History at the College of Charleston had this to say about the find: "That's a great meg find - finds like that are why Charleston is known as the megalodon capital of the world!"
According to Ms Owens, the geology department of the college estimated that the tooth is 3 to 5 million years old. It weighs around 5.9 ounces or 450 grams.
"A shark tooth that weighs close to a pound! Absolutely mind blowing!" said Ms Owens to NDTV. She said that the second largest tooth they ever found measures 3 inches.
The megalodon tooth is now on display in the couple's house.
Megalodons were among the most feared ocean predators, according to The Sun. Some grew as big as 59 feet and could open their jaws as wide as 10 feet. The coastal area of South Carolina was once seafloor, and today, a number of ancient ocean fossils are discovered here.Click for more trending news