Originally published: November 2, 2015 | Article courtesy: www.nola.com | By: Todd Masson | Please click here for original article.
Above: Megalodon teeth have been washing up in recent weeks along the North Carolina coast. (Photo by Surf City Gazette)
These days, we humans tend to freak out if a little ol’ great white shark gets too close to one of our beaches. Imagine being alive millions of years ago, and having to contend with megalodons, giant sharks that were longer than any of the ships Columbus took across the Atlantic.
Beachcombers along the North Carolina coast are getting a good idea of the size of these prehistoric fish that ruled the oceans between 2 million and 15 million years ago. Recent strong currents have unearthed fossilized megalodon teeth, and washed them up on the sand in North Topsail Beach and Surf City, according to local NBC affiliateWITN.
Denny Bland, who found one of the teeth, said it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“Oh my God … I felt like a lottery winner or something,” he said.
The teeth cover most of an adult’s hand, and give a hint about the size of the megalodons they came from. Experts at the Aurora Fossil Museum told the station each inch of a tooth’s length can be extrapolated to 10 feet in the fish’s length. That means a 6-inch tooth was in the mouth of a 60-foot megalodon.
Modern-day great white sharks top out at about 20 feet in length.
According to Conde Nast Traveler, several dozen megalodon teeth have washed up along the North Carolina coast since the beginning of October, leading to a surge among tourists looking for a very large piece of history.
Todd Masson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.232.3054.