Surely you have heard, at one time or another, about people finding random relics or fossils while doing things like metal detecting, hiking or diving. Well we have a similar story for you this week but this one, in its own way, is nothing short of amazing.
Wes and Kerry Kirpach are two Dallas Texas area high school teachers who recently discovered two halves of an ancient Megalodon shark’s tooth off the coast of Venice, Florida.
Finding teeth More Common than You’d Think?
If you ask most local divers they will tell you that finding these teeth are a fairly common occurrence and that they are most commonly found in halves. In fact, they were in one of the best locations on Earth to find it considering divers pull them up in this area all the time.
Hundreds of tourists a year actually come to this area just to find Megalodon teeth. So what’s the big deal, you may be asking yourself? What makes their find any more amazing than all of these hundreds of other tourists?
More Amazing Tooth than Most
Well, as we said, they didn’t just find one half of a tooth. They found two.
As soon as the couple hit the water, Wes Kirpach found the first half, a 3.75 inch Megalodon shark tooth resting on the ocean floor. Then about an hour later, his wife Kerry found another half, pocketed it, and they resumed their dive.
Later on that day they surveyed their find. One half pretty much looked like it was yanked right out of the ancient shark’s mouth. The other half showed its years. It looked as if it had an entire ecosystem of coral and other growth on it. After taking an even closer look the couple noticed that the teeth’s cracked sides looked similar. So, on a lark, they put the two together and they fit…perfectly.
The two halves of the tooth were separated by 200 feet of ocean floor but they were the two parts of a 20 million year old fossilized tooth. According to Gary Rowe who works with the Florida West SCUBA shop and is an avid fossil diver for over 30 years, the odds of a find like this are astronomical. Rowe stated that in his 30 years of diving in and around the area, no one that he has ever known or had been in contact with, has ever found two halves of the same Megalodon tooth.
When you consider tidal motion and currents, the chances that two halves of the same tooth being even 200 feet apart are amazing. The couple said that they are going to put this find on display in their home and it will remain on center display in their collection of diving finds.