The most typical finds made by beachcombers are very ordinary seashells, sea glass, driftwood, and occasionally a message in a bottle. Even yet, it may be entertaining to saunter through the waves in search of something more significant than a discarded candy wrapper.
On rare occasions, fossils wash up on the shore, delighting beachgoers who were looking through the sand for smaller findings. A fascinating pastime that enables you to spend time outside while learning about the past is collecting fossils.
It is also much simpler to casually enter the water with just a sieve and shovel or even just your bare hands to dig about for these ancient bones than than searching for raptors in the dry ground of Montana. more specifically “Shark’s teeth preserved in fossil form are a simple approach to start fossil hunting. They are frequently in great numbers on public beaches.”
While tiny teeth the size of a human fingertip are the most frequent discoveries, occasionally, fossil hunters come upon proof of the frighteningly huge monsters that once swam in the deep waters. The megalodon is one coveted discovery. This extinct mackerel shark species, whose name translates to “great teeth,” existed between 23 and 3.6 million years ago, between the Early Miocene and the Pliocene epochs. Even though these fierce giants are extinct, their palm-sized fangs occasionally reappear. Anyone willing to delve deeper into the water will be terrified by the fangs, which can grow to be several inches long.
Calvert Beach in Maryland is a well-known location for searching for such spectacular “Jaws”-like fossils. On Christmas Day in 2022, 9-year-old Molly Sampson made the discovery of a lifetime while wading in the Chesapeake Bay.
The little girl “was out looking for fossils on Christmas morning when, what to her amazed eyes came but an enormous Megalodon tooth!” according to the Calvert Marine Museum.
The girl’s mother, Alicia Sampson, later spoke with USA TODAY about the fossil. She made a comment about her daughter’s disposition that morning: “She was giddy with excitement. She had fantasized of locating it. Since she was a young child crawling along the shore, she has been looking for shark teeth.” Even that year, Molly had requested “waders as a Christmas present for shark-tooth hunting.” The Sampson family went down to seek for shark teeth as soon as the waterproof gear was delivered.
Molly scanned the ground until she found the illusive tooth and reached down. She informed the media, “I was really shocked. I believed that I was dreaming. I didn’t believe it to be true.”
The little girl took her tooth to the local museum to be examined rather than keeping her inspirational discovery to herself. She subsequently said, “They were incredibly delighted.”
Later, as USA TODAY was informed by Stephen Godfrey, curator of paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum, “Teeth from Megalodon have been discovered along Calvert Cliffs often. One so enormous is quite uncommon, though.” Its age was estimated to be 15 million years.
“We love seeing and sharing about the gems you uncover along the coast,” the museum wrote on Facebook after posting the discovery. Their “First Fossil Friday program,” which aids fossil hunters like Molly in identifying their findings, was also recognized. We hope Molly and everyone else have many more successful beach days.