blaine hunt megaladon tooth
Blaine Hunt

Woman Finds Megalodon Tooth, Millions of Years Old, on Maryland Beach

It probably belonged to a prehistoric shark over 30-feet long, experts say.

Combing sandy shores can lead to magnificent discoveries—like a fossil from millions of years ago. Blaine Hunt was visiting her friend in Wicomico Shores, Maryland when she went out rock hunting on the beach. She found what she thought was a large shark tooth, but upon moving the rocks around to further uncover the item, she realized it was a lot bigger than a typical shark tooth.

Turns out, Hunt had discovered a 4-inch megalodon tooth—a fossil from a gigantic, prehistoric creature dating back at least 3.5 million years.

Megalodons were once the largest fish in the ocean, based on fossil teeth, vertebrae columns, and individual vertebrae. Scientists believe that great white sharks are a close relative of the prehistoric creature and look quite a bit like them, despite being smaller. The oldest megalodon fossil is 20 million years old and the gigantic sharks dominated the oceans until they became extinct about 3.6 million years ago.

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Hunt said after she found the enormous tooth, "I bolted to my sister and friend in shock."

Hunt had the tooth examined and was informed via email by Stephen Godfrey, Calvert Marine Museum's curator of paleontology, that it was an anterior tooth belonging to a megalodon that was over 30 feet long.

4-inch Megalodon tooth

Blaine Hunt

Megalodons are thought to have ranged from 33.5 feet to 58.7 feet on average. Scientists speculate that they could have reached up to 82 feet long and weighed around 66,000 to 143,000 pounds. Scientists also believe that female megalodons were larger than males.

"My family and I had lived in Japan, where we spent almost every day in the summer after work on the beach. When we lived in New Jersey, we spent much time on LBI. I was born and raised in Maryland, going from beach to beach. I've visited Connecticut over the years and now live there, going to their beaches. I have always kept an eye out for shark teeth, and I have never found one. I would get a little jealous when everyone else would find one," Hunt told news outlet The BayNet.

"Discovering this tooth is a once-in-a-lifetime find," Hunt said. "I am holding a piece of history, and it makes me feel like the coolest person on the planet!"

READ MORE: Couple Hooks 800-Pound Tiger Shark on Honeymoon in Florida