What are the best beaches in Florida to find sharks teeth fossils? Florida is famous for its sandy beaches and subtropical climate but just beneath the sand lies evidence of life forms that existed over a million years ago.
Before Florida became the Sunshine State, parts of it were submerged in the ocean. What is land today was once the ocean floor and caught in its sedimentary layers lie millions of ancient shark teeth.
Finding shark teeth adds a new dimension to any beach holiday and gives you a unique souvenir that will never fail to remind you of your glorious days in the sun.
Although you can find shark teeth on virtually any beach in the world, some are more fruitful than others. Let’s find out which are the best beaches in Florida to embark on a shark tooth hunting expedition.
What is the Best Beach in Florida to Find Sharks’ Teeth?
Known as the shark tooth capital of the world, Venice Beach is littered with fossilized shark teeth.
You can find them simply by strolling along the beach and scanning the sand for any dark, triangular objects, but you stand a better chance of finding shark teeth if you go into the waves.
Where the waves break, you’ll find a foot-high drop-off. Scoop up some sand and shells using your hands or a kitchen sieve, and then return to the beach to sort through your findings.
This approach gives you a good chance of finding at least one shark tooth, if not several.
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Most of the shark teeth you’ll find on Venice Beach are quite small, measuring between 1/8″ to 3/4″. To find larger specimens, you need to head out into deeper waters where you’ll require dive equipment to locate your treasure.
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In addition to uncovering a few shark teeth, you may also be lucky enough to stumble upon some other ancient prizes. In the past, people have discovered sections of a dugong’s ribcage, parts of a whale’s jaw, and even some old bullet cartridges from the Second World War!
The Best Beaches in Florida To Find Sharks Teeth
Venice Beach may be the shark tooth capital, but it’s not the only one visited by shark tooth hunting enthusiasts.
The following 13 beaches are well-known shark tooth beaches where there are so many shark teeth, you’d have to be extremely unlucky to come away empty-handed.
#1 Caspersen Beach
According to some, Caspersen Beach is “the absolute best beach in Venice, FL for shark teeth.”
The beach’s topography creates converging tides that gather shark teeth and other sediments along the shallow drop-off that runs along the front of the beach.
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Here, amongst the beach sand, you’ll find a multitude of shark teeth, ranging from the small, sharp needle-like teeth of the sand tiger to the larger, more triangular teeth of the bull shark.
Caspersen Beach is a quiet secluded beach where you’ll have plenty of space for finding shark’s teeth. It’s less famous than Venice Beach, so if you pick the right time of year, you could have the entire beach to yourself.
You don’t need dive equipment or a sieve to find shark teeth on Caspersen Beach. What you do need is a sharp eye and plenty of patience!
Although there are many shark teeth to be found, you’ll have better luck at low tide, when there are four miles of beach to explore.
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#2 Casey Key
Casey Key is more famous for its ability to attract celebrities than its status as a shark tooth hotspot, but don’t let that deter you.
There are lots of shark teeth to be found on the exclusive barrier island, assuming you know where to look.
Although there are many private resorts on the island, only two beaches are open to the public – Nokomis beach and Jetty Park. Both of these can get pretty busy, especially if you visit during the peak season between February and April.
You’ll often find shark teeth washed ashore by the tides, so searching along the water’s edge isn’t a bad place to start.
You can also head a couple of feet into the waves, where the crystal clear waters make shark tooth hunting an absolute breeze.
Although the southern section of Nokomis Beach tends to be pretty crowded, if you head north, you should find some secluded spaces to find shark’s teeth, especially if you use a Florida snow shovel to facilitate your search.
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#3 Manasota Key
Another barrier island on the Florida coastline, Manasota Key is famous for its secluded, sandy beaches. While most people head there for the sea and sun, there are plenty of shark teeth to be found if you can be bothered to look.
There are thousands of sharks in Florida’s waters, each of which can go through around 50,000 teeth during their lives, so it’s hardly surprising that so many wash up on Florida shores.
The best places to search for shark’s teeth in Manasota Key are along the water’s edge. Here, you can expect to find fossilized teeth from all sorts of different sharks, including the ferocious megalodon, whose teeth reach up to 6.9″ long.
If you want to widen your search a bit further, grab a snorkel and flippers and head out to the deeper waters where large specimens are more likely to be lurking.
#4 Brohard Park
One of the best places to start your shark tooth hunting joinery is at the Venice Fishing Pier at Brohard Park.
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Although popular amongst dog owners and their canine friends, Brohard Park is rarely busy and shark teeth are plentiful here, especially at the edge of the surf.
Some of the most common finds include the teeth from now-extinct species of dusky and mako sharks.
The teeth of bull and black-tipped sharks are often found here, although they are difficult to distinguish from those of the equally common lemon shark.
#5 Mickler’s Landing Beach
Situated at the southern end of Ponte Vedra Beach, Mickler’s Landing is famous for its pink sands and relaxed atmosphere.
The sand gets its color from the coquina sedimentary rock that, in turn, is almost entirely made up of shell fragments from various mollusks.
This sedimentary rock features hundreds of fossil sites, increasing your chances of finding fossilized shark teeth.
Mickler’s Landing was the first public beach in the Ponte Vedra area and remains a popular destination in Sarasota County, attracting sunbathers and swimmers as well as shark tooth collectors.
Unfortunately, the free parking usually on offer at Mickler’s Landing is available only on weekends due to an extensive Beach Dune Enhancement project.
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#6 Jupiter Beach
People flock to Jupiter Beach all year round, drawn in by its warm waters and sheltered shores. Sharks are also attracted to the area, which has become known as one of Florida’s best shark diving locations.
Situated on a major migration route, the waters in this easterly location are teeming with sharks, so your chances of finding a tooth from a modern-day shark are considerably higher than on some other Florida beaches.
Local fossil hunter, Dave Hoag, has found thousands of discarded teeth on this beach, including a rare specimen from the extinct snaggle tooth shark that dates back some 23 million years.
#7 Palm Beach Island
Better known for its glitzy estates and golden beaches, Palm Beach Island has become a fantastic spot for finding shark teeth in Florida.
A massive dredging project that got underway in February has seen “nearly a million cubic yards of sand” sucked up from the ocean floor and onto the shore.
Within that sand are hundreds of ancient teeth from numerous shark species, including the iconic great white and extinct species like the megalodon.
While your chances of finding Megalodon teeth remain slim, if you equip yourself with a Venice snow shovel, you’ve got a good chance of finding some decent specimens.
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One tooth hunter, Mike Leach, found a 2-inch great white shark tooth, thanks to the dredging project, and experts believe such findings could continue “for weeks, months, or even longer.”
#8 Amelia Island
There are 13 miles of sandy beaches to explore, those towards the northern end are, according to some, “a shark tooth hunter’s dream.”
To the north of Amelia Island lies an active shipping channel that oceanic predators have been patrolling since the Ice Age.
Modern-day sharks continue to use the channel, ensuring an almost endless supply of shark teeth.
More sediment is brought up from the ocean floor when the channel is dredged, revealing yet more treasures.
The island is the perfect place to start your shark tooth hunting journey, with experts on-hand to show you the ropes. Amelia Shark Tooth Adventures offers guided tours that will teach you the techniques needed to discover the beach’s hidden secrets.
This is a fun activity for all the family and one that could see you heading home with a valuable megalodon tooth in your pocket.
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#9 Fort Clinch State Park
This state park is situated on the northern side of Amelia Island and is a hot spot for shark tooth hunting.
Arm yourself with a few handy guidebooks so you can identify your findings and never know what you might uncover. If you’re really lucky, you could even find megalodon teeth lurking among the sharp teeth of other extinct species.
Findings within the state park have included plenty of other sea life and shark teeth. Stingray mouth plates have been uncovered in the past, along with turtle shells and even the occasional horse tooth!
There’s no need to dig into the fossil layer – just walk along the tide line and keep your eye peeled for those distinctive black triangles.
#10 St Augustine Beach
Walking along St Augustine Beach could bring you face-to-face with the ancient past.
Lurking in the sand are plenty of shells and, hidden amongst them, shark teeth. St Augustine is one of Florida’s best places to find shark teeth.
If you’re not confident of your ability to find shark teeth, why not ask an expert? St. Augustine’s Shark Teeth Hunting Tours start at Vilano Beach before moving along the shore to the mouth of the St. Augustine Inlet.
They offer expert advice on finding and identifying fossilized shark teeth and other ancient sea life.
#11 Boca Raton
The Gulf beaches around Venice Florida offer some of the best shark tooth hunting opportunities in the country, but Boca Raton is something of a hidden gem.
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You do need a little more expertise to find shark teeth here, but it still features as one of Florida’s shark tooth hotspots.
The two-mile stretch of beach offers many treasures, including shark teeth, and crystal-clear waters.
Most shark teeth are found along the shoreline so you won’t need any diving equipment to perform your search.
#12 Singer Island
The dredging on Palm Beach Island has also seen new shark teeth emerging on Singer Island.
This is a particularly good place to search for the cream-hued shark teeth of modern species and the fossilized teeth of extinct species like the streamlinedHybodus that went extinct 65 million years ago.
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#13 Vilano Beach
Vilano Beach is one of the best places in Venice, Florida, to hunt for shark teeth.
It’s also a great location for discovering sea glass and other fossils. If you get bored of hunting, why not take to the waves for a quick surf, or head to one of the beachfront restaurants for a spot of seafood?
What Part of the Beach is Best to Find Shark Teeth?
Fossils, shells, and shark teeth all tend to collect in the same areas along the beach. They are commonly found along the tide line or a few feet into the sea.
Look out for small piles of shells and small rocks as that’s where you’re most likely to find what you’re really looking for.
Megalodon teeth are more commonly found in deeper water, further out to sea so a hunt for these treasures may require some proper dive equipment and even a guide.
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Can you Find Shark Teeth on the East Coast of Florida?
Some excellent shark tooth hunting locations along the east coast of Florida include Amelia Island, Jupiter Beach, and St. Augustine.
Although the west coast, Gulf beaches like Casey Key and Manasota Key are popular amongst serious shark tooth hunters.
How Easy is it to Find Shark Teeth in Florida?
People of all ages discover shark teeth in Florida all the time. Just last year, a lucky guy named Michael Nastasio discovered a “6-inch-long megalodon tooth while fossil hunting off the coast of Venice,” and you could be next!
Venice Florida is the world’s top destination for shark tooth hunting. The waters around Florida are teeming with sea life and have been since the Ice Age, so millions of shark teeth are just waiting to be uncovered.
On some beaches, like Venice Beach itself, you can find shark teeth just by strolling along the tide line.
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In other locations, you might need a sieve or even dive equipment to perform your search, especially if you’re seeking a valuable megalodon tooth.
Shark teeth are so prolific in and around Venice Florida, that you’re likely to find some ancient treasures even if you only spend a couple of hours searching.
That’s not long when the result could be a multimillion-year-old souvenir worth thousands of dollars!
British-born Dan has been a scuba instructor and guide in Egypt's Red Sea since 2010.
Dan loves inspiring safe, fun, and environmentally responsible diving and particularly enjoys the opportunity to dive with sharks or investigate local shipwrecks.
When not spending time underwater, Dan can usually be found biking and hiking in Sharm's desert surroundings.