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8 Best Beaches to Find Shark Teeth in South Carolina

Get ready for a thrilling adventure, because South Carolina is not just about palmettos and southern charm. It's also a treasure trove for those who love the thrill of the hunt, especially when it comes to shark teeth! Along its stunning coastline, you'll find some of the best beaches brimming with prehistoric prizes. So, pack your sunblock, grab your beach hat, and let's uncover the secrets of South Carolina's sandy east coast shores, where every wave might reveal a shark tooth souvenir of your visit!

Let's unveil the 8 best beaches to find shark teeth in South Carolina...

3 shark teeth on Folly Beach in South Carolina
One of 8 Best Beaches to Find Shark Teeth in South Carolina: Folly Beach


What Size are South Carolina Shark Teeth

Let's delve a bit deeper into the size of these fascinating marine relics. While most shark teeth you'll stumble upon on South Carolina's beaches are indeed less than an inch in length, don't let that diminish your excitement. These tiny treasures are remnants of gigantic sea predators!

The size of the teeth can vary greatly - from as small as 1/8 of an inch to as large as 3 inches, depending on the species of shark from which they originate. The larger teeth are naturally more rare and highly sought after.

From the colossal Megalodon, an extinct species whose teeth can reach up to a staggering 7 inches, to the contemporary Tiger, Bull sharks, Lemon sharks and even Great White Sharks, South Carolina's shores offer a glimpse into an array of marine predators' dental history, each species unveiling a unique story in the grand tapestry of oceanic life.

Just imagine holding a Megalodon tooth, the largest shark that ever lived, reaching lengths of 60 feet! These behemoths roamed the ocean millions of years ago, and finding any megalodon teeth is equivalent to hitting the shark teeth jackpot!

So, don't be disheartened with the smaller finds, because every tooth, big or small, is a tangible piece of prehistoric marine life. It's not just the hunt, but the history that makes this experience truly remarkable.


Best Way to Spot Shark Teeth on the Beach in SC

Now, you might be wondering, "How on earth do I spot shark teeth amidst all the sand and shells?" Well, fear not, fellow beachcomber! Once you get the hang of it, you'll be spotting them in no time. Much like the mighty search for a sand dollar, start your quest at the tide line, where the waves have freshly deposited their marine offerings.

Look for small, shiny, black or dark grey objects, often triangular in shape. Don't be fooled by their size - most shark teeth are usually less than an inch in length. A common trick is to use a sieve or a special shark teeth sifter to separate the tiny treasures from the rest of the beach debris. Remember, patience is the key. It's a bit like looking for diamonds in the rough - you need a keen eye and a slow pace. Happy hunting!


What To Do with Your Shark Teeth Treasure Trove

Once you've amassed a collection of shark teeth, you might wonder what to do with them. Well, these ancient, marine treasures can be transformed into a variety of keepsakes and decorative items.

  1. Creative individuals often use a shark's black teeth to craft stunning jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

  2. They can also be mounted and framed, creating a unique piece of wall art that's sure to spark conversations.

  3. For those interested in paleontology, cataloging these teeth by species and time period can be an engaging and educational endeavor.

  4. Schools and educational institutions may also appreciate donations for their collections.

No matter how you decide to use your shark teeth, each one serves as a tangible reminder of the incredible diversity and history of marine life.


Fascinating Facts about Sharks and Their Teeth

  1. A Shark's Tooth is Super Sharp: Sharks' teeth are designed for grabbing, slicing, or crushing their prey. They are incredibly sharp and can easily tear through flesh.

  2. Sharks Constantly Lose Their Teeth: Unlike humans, sharks continuously lose and replace their old ones with new teeth. A single shark can lose thousands of teeth during its lifetime.

  3. Shark Teeth are Covered with Enamel: Just like our teeth, shark teeth are covered in enamel, the hardest substance in the body.

  4. Fossilized Shark Teeth are Common: Shark teeth fossils are the most common type of fossil for one simple reason: sharks produce a lot of them!

  5. Megalodon Had the Largest Shark Teeth: The extinct Megalodon, the largest shark that ever lived, had teeth that could reach up to 7 inches in length.

  6. Shark Teeth are Collector's Items: Because of their uniqueness and the sheer volume that are shed and replaced, shark teeth are often collected by beachcombers and fossil hunters.

  7. Shark Teeth Were Used as Tools: In ancient times, people used shark teeth as tools and weapons due to their sharpness.

  8. Sharks Have Different Types of Teeth: Depending on the species, sharks can have different types of teeth. Some have thin, needle-like teeth while others have broader, flat teeth.

  9. Shark Tooth Necklaces are Popular Souvenirs: In many coastal communities, shark tooth necklaces are popular souvenirs, symbolizing bravery and a close connection with the sea.


8 Best Beaches to Find Shark Teeth in South Carolina

long pier extending out over ocean at Folly Beach in Charleston for shark teeth hunting
The pier at Folly Beach, one spot for finding shark teeth in South Carolina

Folly Island:

Known as the "Edge of America," Folly Beach, South Carolina, is a haven for shark tooth hunters. Nestled on the Atlantic coast, just 15 minutes from the heart of Charleston, this serene barrier island beach offers a pristine shoreline stretching over 6 miles, peppered with an array of bars and restaurants for those necessary breaks.

It's particularly known for its abundance of fossilized shark teeth that have been swept ashore, making it a popular destination for collectors and beachcombers alike. So, whether you’re an avid collector or a curious newbie, Folly Beach is a fantastic location to begin your shark tooth hunting adventure.

For the most fruitful shark tooth hunting at Folly Beach, aim for the areas near the pier and the southern end of folly beach. A great place is Folly Beach County Park, especially after a storm or during low tide when you will have better luck after the ocean has revealed its hidden treasures.

Morris Island:

Just a stone's throw from Folly Beach, you'll stumble upon the historic charm of Morris Island, a remote, undeveloped barrier island that is a hidden gem for shark tooth hunters. Located at the mouth of Charleston Harbor, Morris Island is famous for the iconic, semi-destroyed historic Morris Island lighthouse standing defiantly against the forces of time and tide.

Morris Island's pristine sands and relative solitude make it a veritable paradise for those willing to venture off the beaten path. The beach hides an abundance of shark teeth, remnants of its rich marine life from ages past. The eastern side of the island, exposed to the Atlantic, is particularly fruitful for shark tooth seekers, with the teeth hidden among the shells and the breakwater rocks.

To embark on your shark tooth hunting expedition at Morris Island, you can charter a small boat from Folly Beach, or for the more adventurous souls, paddle a kayak through the currents of Folly Creek, unveiling an untouched world steeped in natural beauty and maritime history. For best results, take a professional tour to Morris Island specially geared toward fossil hunting as the area is known for dangerous strong currents.

Edisto Beach State Park:

Edisto Beach, a serene, uncommercialized gem, is nestled along South Carolina's southeastern coast. Known for its rich natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere, Edisto Beach offers a delightful respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The beach is particularly noted for its bounty of fossilized shark teeth, waiting patiently to be discovered by beachcombers or ardent collectors. The best spots tend to be on the beach inside the state park north of the pier and on the the opposite southwestern side of the beach (not in the park section) where the Edisto River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Low tide, especially after storms and windy days, present the most opportune times. As the waters recede, they reveal new layers of the ocean floor, increasing the chance to unearth these fascinating relics of the deep. Visit Edisto Beach State Park for more information.

Bulls Island:

Bulls Island, a crown jewel in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, is a veritable haven for shark tooth enthusiasts. With its untouched natural beauty and abundance of wildlife, this secluded barrier island, located 20 miles north of Charleston, holds a certain mystic charm that captivates and enchants visitors, while offering a treasure trove of shark teeth waiting to be discovered.

A favored spot among locals and tourists alike is Boneyard Beach, named for the hauntingly beautiful skeletal trees that fringe its edges. This beach, continually reshaped by the ebb and flow of the tide, is a perfect hunting ground for shark teeth. The island's wave-washed shores, particularly the northeastern end, yield a plentiful bounty after a storm or at low tide. Don't rush - take your time, scan the sands for the telltale glint of black, and you might just stumble upon a tooth from a prehistoric predator. As with all nature adventures, remember to respect the island's delicate ecosystem and leave only footprints behind.

Accessing Bulls Island for an exhilarating shark tooth hunting adventure is made possible by taking a ferry from Garris Landing, Awendaw, a journey that in itself offers a captivating encounter with the diverse wildlife and unspoiled scenery of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. (the ferry or a tour can be scheduled through Coastal Expeditions and the tour is completely worth it as this is surely one of the best beaches to find shark teeth in South Carolina)

Cherry Grove Beach:

Cherry Grove Beach, nestled on the northern tip of North Myrtle Beach, is yet another fantastic spot for shark tooth hunting. Known for its serene beauty and family-friendly environment, Cherry Grove Beach is an enticing destination for beachgoers and fossil hunters alike. The area around the fishing pier and the point where Hog Inlet meets the Atlantic Ocean are prime locations for finding shark teeth.

Myrtle Beach:

Renowned as the hub of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile string of beautiful beaches, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, boasts spectacular views, thrilling activities, and of course, shark teeth! A great spot is the area around Myrtle's Pier 14 and 2nd Avenue Pier, where shark teeth are frequently found.

Surfside Beach:

Just south of Myrtle Beach lies the picturesque Surfside Beach, a charming, family-oriented destination in South Carolina's Grand Strand area. Commonly known as "The Family Beach," Surfside Beach is not just a haven for beach lovers but also an often overlooked spot for shark tooth enthusiasts. At Surfside Beach, the area around the pier is considered the sweet spot for finding shark teeth, especially after a high tide or a storm when the ocean has churned up the sea bed, revealing these hidden treasures.

Pawleys Island:

Pawleys Island, a quaint, unspoiled sanctuary located about 25 miles south of Myrtle and 70 miles north of Charleston, SC, is a beachcomber's paradise. This tranquil destination is famed for its natural beauty, historic charm, and of course, the abundance of fossilized shark teeth. The best spots to scout for shark teeth on Pawleys Island are near the inlets, especially where the Pawleys Inlet meets the Atlantic Ocean on the north side of the beach.


Tips for Better Chances of Finding Shark Teeth on the Beach

3 shark teeth in hand at beach in South Carolina
Finding Shark Teeth in South Carolina

  1. Best Timing: The best time to find shark teeth is after a storm and / or at low tide. These conditions can wash up teeth onto the shore. Early morning usually offers the least competition from other collectors.

  2. Look for Dark, Shiny Objects: Shark teeth are typically black or brown and have a shiny surface. They might look like pebbles at first, so be sure to examine carefully.

  3. Sift Through the Wet Sand: Use a plastic shovel and a sifting screen to carefully sieve through the sand. This method can yield more teeth than casual scanning. For best results sift through the sand when it is freshly wet.

  4. Go Where the Shells Are: Areas with a high concentration of seashells often also contain shark teeth, as both are deposited by the sea's currents.

  5. Stay Patient: Shark teeth hunting is a game of patience. Don’t get discouraged if you don't find anything immediately. Just keep looking!

  6. Check Beach Erosion Points: Erosion points, such as river inlets or cut banks, are hotspots for shark teeth due to constant water flow.

  7. Ask Locals for Tips: Local beachgoers and shop owners may have additional insights on the best spots to find shark teeth.

  8. Respect Local Laws and Regulations: Ensure you're familiar with any local laws or guidelines about collecting shark teeth to maintain sustainability and respect for the environment.

  9. Use a Shark Tooth Identification Guide: Carry a guidebook to help identify the different species of teeth you find. This can make your hunt even more exciting and educational.

  10. Safety First: Don't forget to apply sunblock and stay hydrated. Beachcombing can be thirsty work, and it's easy to lose track of time when you're engrossed in the hunt.


How to Know When it is Low Tide in South Carolina

Knowing when low tide occurs in South Carolina can significantly enhance your shark tooth hunting adventure. Reliable tide information can be found using local tide charts, available online or at coastal marinas and bait shops. These charts provide daily tide times and heights, making it easy to plan your beachcombing around low tide periods.

Additionally, there are several mobile applications, such as "Tides Near Me" or "Tide Charts", which provide real-time tide predictions for any location, including South Carolina's coastline. Taking the time to understand tides will not only improve your shark tooth hunting success but also ensure a safer and more enjoyable beachcombing experience.


Three Guidebooks to Identify Species of Sharks Teeth

When embarking on an exciting quest to find shark teeth, a dependable guidebook can truly enhance your experience.

One such valuable resource is "Shark Tooth Hunting on the Carolina Coast" by Ashley Oliphant, an insightful offering that not only aids in identifying different species of shark teeth but also provides intriguing details about the Carolina coast, making it a favorite among novice and experienced beachcombers alike.

"A Beachcomber's Guide to Fossils" by Bob Gale is a provides valuable information on identification, collection techniques, and historical context. It covers a wide range of fascinating fossils in addition to shark's teeth making it an indispensable tool for beachcombers of all levels.

The "SharkTooth ID" app is a game-changer for both novice and seasoned shark tooth collectors. This user-friendly mobile application offers a comprehensive digital guide to identifying shark teeth, providing detailed information about various species through high-resolution images and descriptive text. A standout feature is its interactive identification tool, which allows users to input specific characteristics of a found tooth and receive immediate potential matches.

These tools will not only help you identify the precious teeth you stumble upon but will also enrich your knowledge and appreciation of these fascinating marine predators.


Final Tips and Reminders for Finding Shark Teeth at a South Carolina Beach

Let's dive right into the heart of the matter. When searching for the best beaches to find shark teeth in South Carolina the top contenders are Folly Beach, known as the "Edge of America," and the unspoiled shores of Edisto Beach and Morris Island. As each are just a stone's throw away from Charleston, you can expect a delightful blend of beach combing and city exploring here. Be sure to also visit Myrtle Beach, where the Grand Strand often yields shark teeth, particularly after a storm. And last but not least, the secluded, untouched sands of Bulls Island Beach offer a glimpse into the past with a rich array of fossilized shark teeth. Happy hunting!

Remember, when hunting for shark teeth at any South Carolina Beach, bring along a sturdy sieve for efficient sifting. Yet, remember that patience and an observant eye are paramount. Be sure to check the wash lines, pockets of dark, shelly material, and areas where smaller shells collect. These spots often hold the key to a successful hunt!

Now that you know the 8 best beaches to find shark teeth in South Carolina,

What will you do with your treasure trove of shark teeth?


Interested in Charleston?


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