Captain Finds Terrifying Megalodon Tooth Bigger Than His Hand

Written by Katie Melynn Wood
Published: July 10, 2022
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The largest shark that ever lived, the Megalodon, is literally named “big tooth.” When Captain Michael Nastasio found a tooth larger than his hand, he knew it had to belong to the now-extinct giant shark.

The tooth was found by the Black Gold Fossil Charters captain in Venice, Florida, and it measures 6 1/16 inches long.

These sharks’ teeth can grow as long as 7 inches. “It looks like it’s all there,” said Nastasio. “Serrations look good. It’s got some pretty good enamel on it.”

Nastasio goes on to say that he’s getting the tooth cleaned up to see what it looks like. When he found it in the water, it had been subject to the elements for millions of years. The Megalodon lived 20 million years ago, with the last known specimens dying out about 2.6 million years ago. Any teeth found have been in the ocean for at least that many years. Fortunately, Nastasio has plenty of experience hunting for fossils as a charter captain.

“It’s pretty crusty,” said Nastasio as he showed the tooth. “It looks like it must have been laying out on one side for a long time. And then it got flipped over and exposed the other side.” He turns the tooth over, showing both sides. “Something must have flipped it over at some point because both sides are as crusty as can be.”

Megalodon open mouth

An image of a megalodon, the ancient, largest shark, with its mouth fully open.

©Gil Cohiba/

How Do You Find Fossils in the Water?

Nastasio was diving when he found the Megalodon tooth. He discovered the tooth as the flatter side of it was facing up.

Black Gold Fossil Charters takes divers out to hunt for fossilized teeth. Captain Nastasio has plenty of experience diving for fossils in the local waters. After any discoveries, he also clean the specimens that he finds to recover the teeth in its most true form.

“It’s already done its first initial soak,” he says at the end of the video. “I’m going to get to working on it and get ready to update it.”

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Gil Cohiba/

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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