The monster shark from Jaws pales in comparison to the one whose teeth are now showing up on North Carolina’s beaches.
Prehistoric Megalodon teeth up to six inches long are hitting the sands of North Topsail Beach, N.C., and Surf City, N.C. The teeth come from Megalodons that have been extinct for more than 2.5 million years. Interest in the sea creatures has spiked in recent years, partly because of Discovery Channel mockumentaries like “Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives” and “Megalodon: The New Evidence,” which aired during Shark Week.
The real Megalodon was somewhere between 30 and 60 feet long, weighed up to 65 tons and had the largest bite force of any animal ever. According to experts at the Aurora Fossil Museum, each inch of a tooth’s length is equal to ten feet in body length. That means that the teeth that washed ashore in North Carolina one belonged to a Megalondon around 60 feet long. For comparison: An adult great white is 11 to 16 feet long and the largest great white ever measured was 20 feet long.
Megalodon teeth aren’t incredibly uncommon in North Carolina, but in recent weeks, record amounts have turned up. It’s believed that the teeth were pushed toward shore from Hurricane Joaquin’s heavy rain, strong winds, and high tides.