Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Most children have dreamed of making an exciting discovery on a beach or in an old cave at one point or another. Perhaps it’s a product of too many adventure films and TV series, maybe it’s just natural human curiosity at a young age.

In any case, I can vividly remember how excited I was when my grandfather gifted me a metal detector for my 11th birthday. Oh, the lost treasure I was going to find! I couldn’t wait to head out to the beach and start scanning the sand.

While I – much to my dismay – didn’t discover anything remotely worthy of a museum exhibit, the truth is that there are fascinating finds made on shores across the world every year.

Just ask Molly Sampson, a young girl from Maryland who used her favorite Christmas present to discover a 5-inch-long tooth from a terrifying sea creature that lived millions of years ago…

According to reports, Molly and her sister Natalie had asked for insulated waders and fossil sifters for Christmas in 2022. They wanted to go shark tooth hunting in the waters of Chesapeake Bay, and so set out with their dad, Bruce Sampson, at low tide to see what they could find.

Less than half an hour into their hunt, Molly was in knee-deep water when her eyes caught sight of something out of the ordinary.

“I went closer, and in my head, I was like, ‘Oh, my, that is the biggest tooth I’ve ever seen!’” Molly, who was nine years old at the time, explained in a later interview.

“I reached in and grabbed it, and dad said I was shrieking.”

As per NPR, dad Bruce has been fossil hunting since he was young, but the biggest tooth he’s ever found pales in size to that of the one his young daughter pulled from the sea.

A week after her exciting discovery, Molly’s family took the tooth to the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland to confirm its identity.

“It’s a spectacular specimen,” Stephen Godfrey, curator of paleontology at the museum, said. “It’s one of the larger ones that’s probably ever been found along Calvert Cliffs” and might be a “once-in-a-lifetime kind of find.”

Molly’s tooth is believed to have come from the upper left jaw of a megalodon, a prehistoric shark that was likely 45 to 50 feet long and lived around 15 million years ago.

Wow! Have you ever seen a tooth that large before?