Man Finds Tooth of Megalodon, Biggest Shark to Ever Live, in South Carolina

A fossil enthusiast has found an enormous shark tooth that could be worth thousands of dollars. He unearthed it at a construction site in South Carolina.

Matthew Basak, a resident of Savannah in the neighbouring state of Georgia, reportedly found the tooth whilst searching for them with his girlfriend in the town of Summerville.

Coming in at three pounds and measuring roughly 6.45 inches, the tooth is seen in photos dwarfing a human hand. An image can be seen below.

Megalodon tooth
Megalodon tooth
Megalodon tooth
Megalodon tooth
Four different images of the huge and potentially valuable tooth.

Basak told Newsweek he hopes to sell the tooth and thinks it could be worth $6,000 or more.

Basak is a tour guide at Palmetto Fossil Excursions, a group that offers guided fossil-hunting tours. He has been a fan of digging for the ancient treasures ever since he was young.

He told The Post and Courier: "I really wanted to run around because I knew what I had found. I'm pretty sure it came straight from the shark's mouth, because there was no damage."

The tooth may be an example of a Megalodon fossil—a huge shark that lived between approximately 2.6 and 23 million years ago, based on fossil dates. The word megalodon literally means "giant tooth" and has its roots in Greek.

The megalodon is thought to have been the largest shark and the largest fish that ever lived. Their size has been estimated by comparing their tooth fossils with the teeth of modern sharks, and researchers think some of the largest megalodons could have measured almost 60 feet long. That's about as long as a bowling lane.

It is not unheard of for Megalodon teeth to be found. FossilEra lists dozens of them that are available for purchase. Currently, the most expensive one on the website is up for $3,295.

They vary in size and shape. Some of the biggest are around 6.4 inches, and many have been found in either North or South Carolina.

In a blog post, Fred Mazza of FossilHuntingTours and Paleo Discoveries writes megalodon teeth have been found in every state along the East Coast of the U.S., from New Jersey to Florida. They may be found in creeks and beaches.

Shark teeth are abundant because the animals lose a lot of them—one tooth every week on average, according to Indiana-based DentalCenter. This may sound like a lot, but some sharks have as many as 15 rows of teeth in each jaw and can grow lost ones back in just one day.