A US researcher has said the photo of a triangular tooth circulating on social media is that of a Megalodon, a great white shark from prehistoric times. The tooth was recently discovered in a phosphate mine, according to a Reddit user who posted the photo.
In the post, user named BushyBeaver187 asked fellow Reddit users to identify it. While sharing the post, the user wrote: “Help identify.”
“Friend found this in a phosphate mine. After googling we are trying to figure out if this is a great white or megalodon tooth. Any help would be appreciated,” he continued in the comment section.
Many Reddit users gave their own explanations.
“Looks pretty fossilized and way too big to be a big white tooth. I think you’ve got a Megalodon tooth here,” one user wrote.
Another user said, “I’m not sure why you were downvoted, I’m damn sure it’s a meg tooth. The size alone points to megalodon. Not an expert either, but pretty excited.”
Ashby Gale, a paleontologist and owner of Charleston Fossil Adventures, shared: News week that the tooth actually belongs to a Megalodon. The fossil, he says, is between 3.6 and 15.9 million years old.
Shark teeth can easily turn into fossils, according to the outlet, but the rest of the animal is rarely discovered that way. The size of the Megalodon tooth in the Reddit image is unclear. The largest ever discovered was over 7 inches long, indicating that the shark was huge. Megalodons were marine animals found in almost all oceans.
The iconic shark species is believed to have become extinct 3.6 million years ago.