A North Carolina couple strolling on Wrightsville Beach earlier this week stumbled upon a rare prehistoric relic, reports Fox News. The two were out walking on the beach as they usually do when they came across an ancient tooth belonging to a megalodon shark.
According to NBC 12, the megalodon tooth measures about four inches (10,16 centimeters) and could be 2.6 million-years-old.
The ancient shark tooth was found on August 14 by Sydney Williams and her boyfriend Brian Piccirilli, who make a habit out of going on morning walks on the beach.
“Well he [Brian] dropped down to his knees and was just kind of like, ‘Ahhhh!'” Williams said in a statement.
The couple is thrilled about their discovery, especially since this is the very first time that they have found something of this importance during their beach walks.
Their plan is to keep the megalodon tooth and display it in a shadow box for all of their friends and family to see.
“We called our parents. They were excited,” Piccirilli said. “And then showed everyone at work.”
Their find was confirmed as a megalodon tooth by Williams and Piccirilli’s friend Audrey Longtin, who has seen her fair share of shark teeth as part of her job at The Workshop cafe in Wrightsville Beach. The establishment prides itself on its collection of fossil shark teeth, megalodon included, and shark teeth jewelry.
“As soon as a tooth is over three and a half to four inches long, you know it’s a megalodon,” Longtin explained. “The megalodon is the biggest predator that ever existed, so they are the biggest teeth you can find. So, when you find something that big, it’s easy to recognize.”
This is not the first time that megalodon teeth turn up along the beach of North Carolina. In 2015, beachgoers discovered record amounts of the massive shark teeth after the fossils washed ashore amid Hurricane Joaquin, the Inquisitr reported at the time.
The megalodon is an ancient, extinct species of mega-shark that prowled the oceans from the Early Miocene some 23 million years ago until the end of the Pliocene 2.58 million years ago.
Scientifically known as Carcharocles megalodon, which literally means “big tooth,” the megalodon was the largest shark species that ever existed and among the biggest fish known to science. As the Inquisitr previously reported, this mega-shark, ancestor of the great white shark, could reach a staggering 60 feet (18.2 meters) in length.
The discovery of this megalodon tooth in North Carolina comes less than two weeks after Australian paleontologists announced they had found an entire collection of ancient shark teeth belonging to megalodon’s smaller cousin, the great jagged narrow-toothed shark (Carcharocles angustidens).