Fossilized teeth are an incredible record of the sharks that swam in the oceans millions of years ago.
In many places, sharks’ teeth remain locked inside the sedimentary rock they were fossilized in and need to be dug out. However, there are also numerous beaches where you can find shark teeth that have escaped their tombs.
So, if you’d like your piece of prehistoric shark history, we’ll look at the best beaches to find shark’s teeth.
Many of the most famous shark tooth beaches are on the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States, but we’ve also dug up some other locations around the world that are excellent for shark tooth discoveries.
The Best Beaches To Find Shark Teeth (In the World)
The best beaches to find shark teeth have been blessed by the local geology that has delivered the fossilized tooth remains back to the oceans they once came from.
When an ancient shark lost a tooth, it fell into the seafloor sediment and was buried, which protected it from decomposition.
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Over a minimum of 10,000 years, and usually much, much longer, the fossilization permineralization process preserved the tooth allowing it to be discovered today.
As ancient ocean levels fell dramatically, most sharks’ teeth were left high and dry, locked inside the rock.
However, in places where rivers cut through ancient rock and washed the preserved teeth into the ocean or through other geological fortunes, some beaches are the easiest and best places for shark tooth hunting.
If you’re lucky, you can find fossilized shark teeth on almost any beach worldwide. So, you don’t need to worry if there is nowhere near you listed.
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Look for local information to point you in the right direction, and always keep your eyes open while walking along the shoreline. You never know what you may find.
Shark Tooth Hunting at Beaches in the United States
The local geology means that beaches on the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States are famous for producing large quantities of shark teeth of excellent quality.
These beaches are some of the best studied in the world and, accordingly, the most famous.
Shark Tooth Island
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Shark Tooth Island beach in the lower Cape Fear estuary is a great location to find shark teeth!
The island was man-made in the late 1800s when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dug wide channels from the riverbed to allow large ships to pass.
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The spoil that was dug out of the estuary to form the island is estimated to be between 35 and 40 million years old, and it’s filled with fossilized shark teeth.
Most visitors reach the island by kayak, and once you arrive, there are 2 acres of sand to search through.
Topsail beach is blessed by fossil-filled Miocene and Pliocene era outcrops offshore that continually release their bounty as water erodes them.
Fossilized shark teeth are eventually washed ashore, and if you’re lucky, they can be found when walking the tideline, particularly after a storm.
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However, the best way to find teeth here is to take a sieve and sort through after the beach replenishes its sand.
The authorities dredge new sand from around the offshore formations, so you can have a fresh supply of fossil-filled substrate to investigate.
While you might find the best and biggest megalodon teeth in the offshore fossil ledges by scuba diving, the colossal shark teeth do occasionally wash ashore to be picked up.
Finding black teeth from smaller shark species more readily delivered by the tides is much more common here, and the walk along the beach after high tide is normally worthwhile.
Folly Beach is known not just for providing large numbers of shark teeth to find but also for the size of the teeth that you can discover.
The Copper River delivers fossils that have been washed out of the sedimentary layers, and these wash up at the beach.
You can expect to find fossilized tiger and sand tiger shark teeth, amongst other species.
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Locals suggest that you start looking along the beach at the east side of the pier and walk slowly along, checking what has been brought by the tide.
Edisto Beach State Park
Expert shark tooth hunters recommend that you start your search at Edisto beach by the rivers south inlet and check the sand deposited by the ocean against the erosion barriers.
The shark teeth washed down by the river may not be the largest, but large quantities are usually ready to be collected.
Look for layers of shell that the tide has deposited, and you’ll probably see some tell-tale triangular shapes amongst the irregular shell pieces.
Cherry Grove Beach
The area between Cherry Grove pier and Inlet Pointe Villas is highly reliable for shark teeth.
There’s about one megalodon tooth a year found here, but in between times, plenty of tiger, sand tiger, bull, and lemon shark teeth are collected.
Almost any of the Gulf beaches of Florida are worth checking for shark teeth. However, the beaches around Venice Beach, Florida, are regularly referred to as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.”
Caspersen Beach – “The Shark Tooth Capital of the World”
Caspersen Beach in Venice Beach, Florida, is one of several excellent beaches in the area, and it’s probably here that most shark teeth are found.
This is partly because the sand at Caspersen doesn’t need to be artificially refreshed due to coastal erosion, unlike other beaches nearby.
Large numbers of multi-million-year-old shark teeth are found here, and on many days, you must take a short walk along the tideline of this quiet, secluded beach.
You can find plenty of fossil teeth along the Venice beach area, but some of the best ones are uncovered by wading in the waters around the fishing pier and sieving bucket loads of sand to find your toothy treasure.
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You might find a megalodon tooth if you’re lucky, but it’s more common to find teeth from bull, mako, dusky, and lemon sharks.
Mickler’s Landing Beach
You can usually escape the crowds and find some nice shark teeth by visiting Mickler’ ’s Landing.
The beach is the first public beach in Ponte Vedra, and it’s famous for its pink, coquina sand.
Sharks’ teeth are plentiful here, and children playing amongst the sand often find them without making any effort.
However, for the best specimens, look along the Ponte Vedra Beach shore for freshly washed-up shell fragments, and you’ll surely be able to pick out some discarded teeth from amongst them at low tide without even needing to get wet.
While the Venice, Florida beaches are the most well-known in the state for shark teeth hunting, Amelia Island is where many local experts will head when they’re looking for something special.
This is probably the best of Florida’s east coast areas, and Fort Clich State Park at the south of the island is where you want to go first.
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The local shipping channels are frequently dredged to maintain their depth, and the shark tooth-filled spoil is dumped right here for you to sort through.
You can also walk along Fernandina Beach, where the shoreline often has easy shark tooth pickings.
Watch the sand as the surf rolls in and out, and get ready to grab anything that looks interesting.
You can find large shark teeth here along the sandbanks’ edges, where movement uncovers new teeth continually.
Try and visit after a storm, and you’ll be virtually guaranteed some exciting shark teeth to collect from the tideline.
The beach at Cumberland Island is generally quiet, even during nice weather, so if you visit when it’s been a bit rough, you’ll have the best opportunity to grab something rare that’s been washed up from the depths.
Tybee Island straddles the border between Georgia and South Carolina, and the beaches are very reliable for shark tooth hunting.
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The beaches of Tybee Island are another location that benefits from the frequent dredging of the river mouth. The spoil is piled up nearby at “dredge islands,” and inevitably, some teeth make their way to the beach as the tides disperse the sands.
Little Tybee Island, in particular, is excellent as it’s less frequently visited than the other beaches. However, for the best teeth, you can hire a boat or take a kayak to the dredge islands to pick through the fresh spoil.
Calvert Cliffs State Park
Calvert Cliffs are one of the most popular destinations in the United States for fossil hunting, including shark teeth.
Don’t try and dig into the cliffs themselves as it’s not allowed due to the risk of landslides. However, a walk at a safe distance along the base and the waterline will often reward you with shark teeth to pick up.
Make sure you check tide times so you don’t get caught out. The beach is almost entirely submerged at high tide, and you wouldn’t want to get stranded.
Shipwreck Beach Lanai
If you want to go hunting shark teeth in a more exotic location, head to Kaiolohia, aka Shipwreck Beach, north of Lanai City.
As well as an exciting shipwreck to look at, you can find numerous shark teeth on this quiet beach.
Hornby Island in British Columbia is a magnificent location for finding shark teeth, and thanks to its remote location, you can be almost guaranteed to have the place to yourself.
Manning Point and Collishaw Point are the most famous locations, and so many shark teeth, including megalodon teeth, are often found here.
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If you’re in the Netherlands and want to go on a shark teeth hunt, you need to head straight to Cadzand beach and its surrounding area in the country’s southwest.
Many of the shark teeth found here have arrived in sand brought from other areas to reinforce the dunes.
However they’ve got here, the teeth are ready to be found if you take a spade and a sieve and start digging.
When you’ve found your shark teeth haul, you can go to the visitor center at Het Zwin, where you’ll be able to identify the shark species it came from.
The United Kingdom
Herne Bay, Kent
Herne Bay is probably the most popular of all the UK locations for shark tooth hunting.
Such is the area’s quality that European aficionados frequently visit to see what they can find.
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Teeth from the extinct Stratiolamia macrota shark are common at the beach at Beltinge.
However, the main target is the triangular teeth from the extinct mackerel shark Otodus obliquus, as these can reach up to 10 cm (3.93 in) in length.
The best time to visit is during spring tides when the low water provides a larger area to explore.
Warden Point, Isle of Sheppey
The Isle of Sheppey is well known as a great place for finding sharks’ teeth in a range of colors.
Warden Point is the best area to visit, and you can find all kinds of animal and plant fossils in the sedimentary mud.
It’s best to visit in the summer when the clay is harder, and it’s easier to walk on.
Local experts suggest visiting a couple of hours after the high tide and searching along the upper parts of the beach to see what has been brought in by the tide or washed out of the cliffs.
The last of our best places to find shark teeth is Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex, thanks to the coastline that is eroding at over half a meter (about two feet) a year.
Walton-on-the-Naze is known as the only place to visit in the UK if you want to find megalodon teeth.
It’s said that the megalodon shark’s teeth found here are not the highest quality as they’re often very worn due to having been heavily eroded.
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However, any megalodon tooth is a worthy reward from a shark tooth hunting trip.
Just take extreme care when walking near the cliffs as they are prone to collapse.
The best beach to find sharks’ teeth could be the one closest to you.
The key to finding shark teeth is persistence and familiarity with the area; the best way to get that is to visit often.
While the beaches we’ve mentioned are the best beaches to find sharks teeth that we know, you might have somewhere near you that’s a hidden secret.
So, if you know of a reliable beach for finding shark’s teeth, let us know in the comments.
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.